If you already have an estate plan, you know how essential it is. You have spent a lot of time considering your end-of-life goals and have peace of mind knowing there is a strategy in place. Unfortunately, when reviewing existing estate plans with new clients, we often find that their current plan has critical gaps that were not in line with their intended outcome. How does this happen?

If you have an existing plan, here are the top 3 most overlooked mistakes we commonly see in existing estate plans:

Funding: Many people are unaware that only assets in a trust are considered trust property. Unfortunately, people forget or are unaware that you need to go the extra step to transfer property to the trust to avoid probate—one of the main reasons people get an estate plan in the first place! Did you purchase stocks, cryptocurrency, cars, boats, or property and fail to transfer it to your trust? All of those assets will be subject to probate.

Incomplete: We often see estate plans with just a trust, a will on its own, or a trust with a power of attorney. While their intentions are good, these documents alone will often result in significant gaps and can lead to unintended distributions.

Failing to Review Annually: We understand that circumstances often change and that an estate plan without any alterations from a few years back will likely need revisions. Reviewing your estate plan annually with an attorney will ensure your plan remains current and is in line with your intended outcome.

Free Estate Plan Review

Has it been past a year since you reviewed your estate plan? Let us provide you with a complimentary review by one of our estate planning attorneys to make sure your intentions are in line with the plan you have in place.


Estate Planning for All Stages of Life

LS Carlson Law offers global estate planning legal services for individuals, families, and companies of all sizes, affluency levels, and complexities. Our robust offerings include asset protection, wills, trust preparation and administration, and real estate transfers. Whether it’s a straightforward trust for an individual or family that owns a home, or a complex, high-net worth, estate plan involving multi-faceted structuring, lifetime gifting, valuations, and advanced irrevocable trust strategies, we will provide you with the estate planning and trust solutions you need to protect your family legacy.

Young Family

Mid 20s to Late 30s

You are the parents of young children, have a home, and are looking to protect your kids should something happen to you and/or your spouse.


  • Guardianship for Children (Minors)
  • Define Inheritance Criteria (Ages, Milestones, etc.)
  • Avoid Costly Probate
  • Maximize Control & Flexibility

Estate Growth

Early 40s to Late 50s

Your kids are in high school or college. You are in a state of growth in the form of asset accumulation and want to make sure that those assets are protected.

  • Protect Assets
  • Minimize Liabilities
  • Define Asset Allocation
  • Tax Reduction

Golden Years

Retirement - 60+

You are enjoying the fruits of your labor. You are thinking more about your legacy and want to make sure your wishes are met when you pass.

  • Personal Comfort
  • Healthcare Directives
  • Legacy Preservation (Asset Allocation)
  • Estate Tax Minimization


This FAQ Guide Helps Answer the Following:

  • Choosing a Guardian
  • Is Having a Will Enough?
  • The Role of a Trust

Free Estate Planning Consultation

We understand that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to estate planning. Your situation is unique and your plan needs to be tailored to your wishes. We would like to extend an offer to get a free, no-obligation, 30-minute consultation with one of our estate planning attorneys to answer any questions you may have in general about estate planning or specific questions unique to your circumstances prior to moving forward. To schedule an appointment, simply call the number below.

(949) 421-3030

We Take Care of Everything

Exceptional estate planning requires an integrated, hands-on approach. To facilitate this process, we first partner with our clients to identify their unique financial goals and objectives and generate a comprehensive asset inventory to ensure strategic legal protection. Then, we meticulously engineer an estate plan to ensure that our clients achieve optimal results and protection. LS Carlson Law’s estate planning division offers a multitude of legal services that include:

Trust Formation

Real Estate Transfers

Business Interest Transfers

Minimize Potential Tax Liability

Will Creation

Business Succession Planning

Property Agreements

Post Death Administration

Our Comprehensive Approach

1. Initial Conference

At our initial conference, we will discuss your concerns and an overview of your estate.  We will discuss what would happen to your estate at your incompetency or death. Our goal is to determine if an estate plan will benefit your circumstances and how we can preserve your legacy.

2. Audit of Assets

We will work together to “deep dive” into your estate. We start by compiling a complete list of all your assets, interests, rights, as well as your all your liabilities and debts. Our aim is to obtain an accurate overview of your financial estate to effectively plan the legacy you want to preserve.

3. Agent Designations

The people you designate to act on your behalf will be one of the most important decisions you will make. Your agents are the individuals you will empower to take care of your children, your finances, your business, your medical care, and any other needs you may have. Such agents may include a guardian for your children, successor trustee, executor, power of attorney, or healthcare agent. We have years of experience to help you navigate and carefully consider your agent designations.

4. Identifying Your Goals and Potential Issues

At this stage, we will identify your main objectives and goals as well as any potential issues that may hinder the effective implementation of your objectives and goals. We will address your concerns and address any potential liabilities.

5. Planning the Estate

After we identify your assets, agents, goals, and potential issues, we take the next critical step to plan and draft an estate specifically tailored to accomplish your purpose, objective, and goals. We are careful to maintain a focus on preserving your legacy and making sure your loved ones are taken care of after your death.

6. Finalizing the Estate

After we have completed a draft of all your estate documents, we will discuss in detail how each aspect of your estate will be handled. This will include how your trust should be administered during your life and what will happen at your death. We will also review all your other estate documents, such as your will, power of attorney, healthcare directive, and such other documents that are part of your estate plan. Once your estate plan is exactly how you want it, we will finalize all the documents for execution.

7. Signing Appointment

Your estate documents must be executed under certain formalities. At the signing appointment, we will make sure your documents are properly notarized and executed. Your signing date will become the date your estate documents is identified as.

8. Funding the Trust

A distinct and important step in finalizing an effective estate plan that is often overlooked is funding your trust and transferring your assets. Failure to fund your trust or holding title inaccurately can defeat the purpose of your estate plan. Whether it is transferring real property, bank accounts, or business interests, our estate planning division is experienced at administering trusts to help you properly transfer title to your assets.


Our Estate Planning department is lead by attorney Linda Honey. Ms. Honey practices exclusively in the area of trusts, wills, estate planning, and succession planning with special expertise in advising high net worth individuals and administering taxable estates, including the preparation and review of estate tax returns. Ms. Honey has drafted, planned, and administered various irrevocable trusts, such as special needs trusts, charitable remainder trusts, intentionally defective grantor trusts, GST trusts, and dynasty trusts. Applying her experience from business litigation, she tailors every estate plan to maximize inheritance and minimize liabilities and costs for individuals, families, and businesses.

LS Carlson Law vs Other Options

LS Carlson Law

We understand there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to estate planning. Your assets, children, wishes, and needs are unique to your situation, which is why it is critical to devise a plan specific to your circumstances. Getting this wrong could unravel your objectives and be extremely costly. We also understand needs change over the years and are active in making sure your plan remains in line with your current goals. Our team also specializes in tax law and knows what it takes to minimize your liability both now and upon any asset transfer. Simple or complex, we will ensure your estate plan holds up when it matters most.

DIY Online Form

It can be tempting to use an inexpensive website to generate a seemingly “simple” trust for your estate plan. Over the years, we have worked with countless clients that have gone this route. Without fail, these plans are almost never in line with our client’s actual goals or expectations and can have significant negative tax implications or other unforeseen liabilities. This is often due to a question within the generic online questionnaire either not being fully understood, answered incorrectly, or an important question was simply never posed.

Bargain Attorney

Using an actual estate attorney is almost always has a better outcome than the online self-service systems, however, are still not without fault. The majority of attorneys that provide bargain planning set up cookie-cutter products with the sole goal of avoiding probate. This is obviously a start but almost always falls short of our client’s expectations. Oftentimes corners are cut relating to taxes, asset allocation, succession, child guardianship, and more intimate legacy planning.


Paul Deese


Kirk Pearson


Jeffrey Kominsky


Linda Honey

Senior Associate

James Calkins

Senior Associate

Ryan Davies

Senior Associate

Shelby Daws


Taylor Hubbard


Keith Lehman


Timothy Mahar

Senior Associate

Shane Micheil


Steven Shack


Phong Tran

Senior Associate

Justin Walley


Chris Xouleis




85 Enterprise, Suite 310
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

L.S. Carlson Law


85 Enterprise, Suite 310 Aliso Viejo, CA