Jan Cummins - Counselor at Law


My Philosophy as an Estate Planning and Elder Law Attorney

Estate planning and administration, including trusts, elder law and special needs law is a special form of the law, because it can help people avoid family conflict rather than struggle after it has occurred. To this end, I will work with you to ensure that your estate plan establishes a framework for family harmony, that it reflects your deepest values, and that it will protect both your assets and the most important people in your life. This is why I call your estate plan a home for your heart.

Each family is unique, and careful consideration of a family’s situation and relationships is of critical importance in ensuring that your objectives are met. We will look at all of these issues in depth to properly prepare for your care during your lifetime and the passage of your property at death.

While taxes are always an important consideration in estate planning, they are less so now for many families because the unified estate and gift tax exclusion has been permanently established at $5,000,000 per individual with portability to $10,000,000 for a surviving spouse. If your estate does not exceed these limits, estate tax issues will probably not be a concern for you.

As a Palo Alto estate planning lawyer, I am aware of some unique issues and potential opportunities available to older residents of this expensive and affluent community. In this sense, my law practice also encompasses the specialty of Elder Law, which considers potential eligibility for government or other benefits as a part of the estate planning process.

What Should Your Estate Plan Do For You?

Your estate plan should:

  • Manage and distribute your assets in the event of illness or death
  • Spare your loved ones from litigation and tax bills
  • Foster family harmony
  • Minimize taxes, unnecessary legal fees and the impact of long term care costs on your estate
  • Operate to protect your property while you’re living and after you’re gone

Working with my clients is a privilege. I look forward to being your advocate.

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