PROTECTING YOUR LEGACY IS WHAT WE DO BEST.
Established in 2018, The Legacy Law Firm has developed a reputation of delivering high-quality legal solutions in a compassionate and streamlined manner. Founder, Attorney Christine Schafer, envisioned a law firm that would create a client experience where each individual felt heard, seen and important – because they are. We prioritize people, not cases. You and your family matter first at our firm.
We believe that the heart of any great law firm is its team. We have assembled a diverse group of accomplished professionals and support staff, each with a unique set of skills and expertise. Our team has more than 17+ years of combined experience in wills, trusts and estate work.
Our mission is to empower individuals, businesses, and our community to be proactive in planning for every stage of life. Doing so ensures that your loved ones are sure to avoid any mess and your legacy truly lives on. We are committed to making a positive and lasting impact, one case at a time.
Our Practice Areas
Our Commitment to You
FOUNDER & ATTORNEY
Losing a loved one is one of the most trying times in an individual’s life. Christine knows first hand what it feels like to deal with a loss and the stress that accompanies it. At the young age of 21, Christine lost her father. She has spent her career helping families create the perfect estate plan and assisting others with navigating the probate court.
Our Simplified Approach to Your Case
WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Christine was patient and kind during a difficult time handling the estate of my family member. I appreciate that immensely.
Christine Schafer helped my wife and I set up a trust for our children. She and her team made this a very easy experience. Christine was very easy to reach. She explained the process, requirements, and everything else in great detail. We felt like we were in good hands the whole time.
Christine and her team were professional and efficient in preparing all the necessary estate planning documents for me and my wife. She answered all our questions and talked us through the process.
If there were more stars I would certainly give them. Crissy was fabulous. Answered so many of my crazy questions, led me in the right direction of other things I need to do for my Estate Planning. I would highly recommend this firm.
The Legacy Law Firm is knowledgeable and efficient. I feel comfortable discussing my planning with them and is perfectly satisfied with the service I received. Thank you, Crissy!
I have known Ms. Christine Schafer for years. She is an excellent lawyer. In addition to her professionalism and knowledge, she is honest, caring and kind. For these reasons, I have referred close friends and my own clients to her. She is without a doubt an attorney that you can trust, especially with your life plan. I highly recommend her.
Recently, my life circumstances drastically changed, and Crissy patiently and empathetically walked me through getting my estate in order. She is exceptionally knowledgeable and answered my many questions thoroughly and with compassion. She understands how difficult the process is and made sure I understood each step of the process. I am very grateful that I found Crissy and her team, and I cannot recommend her enough.
Crissy is a client-first, detail-oriented, grade A+ attorney. Her compassion combined with experience makes her someone you can trust!
Heather Lee O'Keefe
Crissy is a true professional and expert on estate/tax planning. She is empathetic and really cares about helping her clients. I cannot recommend her enough!
Frequently Asked Questions
Probate is a legal process that verifies and administers the distribution of a deceased person’s assets and estate, either according to their will or following the laws of intestacy if there is no will, with the aim of settling debts, taxes, and ensuring the rightful beneficiaries receive their inheritances while under court supervision.
In the probate process, you can expect a legal procedure that involves validating the deceased person’s will, or determining how their assets are distributed if there’s no will, settling outstanding debts and taxes, and overseeing the fair distribution of the remaining assets to beneficiaries or heirs. The process may involve court supervision, potential legal fees, and can vary in duration depending on the complexity of the estate and local regulations.
The duration of the probate process can vary significantly based on factors such as the complexity of the estate, local laws, potential disputes, and court caseload. In simpler cases, probate can take several months to a year, while more complex or contested cases may extend for several years. Generally, it’s advisable to expect the process to last several months, but the specific timeline should be discussed with a legal professional who can provide a more accurate estimate based on the unique circumstances of the estate.
Assets that typically go through probate are those owned solely by the deceased person without designated beneficiaries or co-owners, including real estate held solely in their name, bank accounts not designated as payable-on-death or held jointly, personal property, and assets that lack a trust or specific instructions for distribution in a will or other legal document.
To avoid probate, individuals can use various estate planning strategies, including creating a revocable living trust to hold their assets, designating beneficiaries for assets like life insurance policies and retirement account or establishing joint tenancy for real estate or bank accounts. Understanding which strategy is right for you may require the assistance of a qualified estate planning attorney.
Summary administration is a streamlined probate process, available for those estates with values that are less than $75,000 or if the decedent has been deceased for more than 2 years. This process is designed to expedite the distribution of assets after someone’s passing, involving fewer court procedures and reduced formalities compared to Formal Administration. It is quicker process and less costly.
Formal Administration is the appropriate court process for those estates where the value exceeds $75,000. There is a mandatory 3-month creditor period and the overall process to close the estate could take up to 12 months. During this process, a personal representative will be appointed, and they will have authority to carry out the probate process. Details on this type of administration should be discussed with an experienced probate attorney.
Estate planning is the process of arranging for the management and distribution of one’s assets and wealth, both during their lifetime and after their death, to ensure that their wishes are carried out, their loved ones are provided for, and to minimize legal fees and complications associated with asset transfer, often involving the creation of wills, trusts, and the establishment of strategies to protect and transfer assets efficiently.
A will is a legal document that outlines how a person’s assets and property should be distributed after their death and can also designate guardians for minor children. A Revocable Living Trust is a legal document in which a person transfers their assets into their trust during their life to then either 1) be managed by their successor trustee during their own time of incapacity OR 2) distributed to their designated beneficiaries at their death. Benefits of a trust include providing more privacy and assets in trust of often bypassing the probate process, making distribution faster and potentially more efficient compared to assets specified in a will.
Estate planning is crucial because it allows you to outline how your assets will be distributed after your death, designate guardians for minor children, plan for potential incapacity, minimize estate taxes, and ensure that your loved ones are provided for according to your wishes, ultimately providing peace of mind, reducing potential conflicts, and ensuring that your legacy is managed efficiently and in accordance with your intentions.
When planning for a minor child through estate planning, it’s essential to designate a legal guardian in your will to ensure the child’s care if you and the other parent are unable to do so. Additionally, you can create a trust to hold and manage assets for the child’s benefit, specifying how the assets should be used for their upbringing, education, and other needs. Appointing a trustee to oversee the trust is crucial, and you can set specific conditions, such as the child receiving funds at a certain age or for specific purposes. Regularly review and update these provisions to reflect changing circumstances and the child’s evolving needs as they grow.
A revocable living trust offers several benefits, including the potential to avoid probate, maintain privacy as trust details remain private, provide for smooth asset management in case of incapacity without the need for court intervention, allow for seamless asset transfer to beneficiaries upon your death, and flexibility for modifying or revoking the trust during your lifetime, making it a valuable and popular tool for estate planning.
Start Your Planning Today!
Call to Schedule an Appointment or use our self scheduler below to schedule your appointment right from your phone.
GET IN TOUCH WITH US TODAY
Enter your information below to get started