Cannon Legal Firm Areas of Practice


I know how overwhelming and confusing legal matters can be, that's why I focus on guiding you every step of the way so that you are well-informed and can help you feel more confident in the legal process.

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AREAS OF PRACTICE

How I Can Help You

Elder Law, Estate & Trust Litigation


Petitions for Financial Elder Abuse,
Accountings, Petitions to Remove a Trustee, Contests, and other disputes.

Estate Planning
& Pet Trusts


Protect your assets and ensure your wishes are carried out with an estate plan customized for your needs.

Probate, Estate & Trust Administration


Legal advice and guidance for administering the simplest to the most complex probates, trusts and/or estates to ensure that fiduciary duties are fulfilled and that the Trustee is in compliance with the California Probate Code and the terms of the Trust.

Mediation


Mediation is often the best solution to conclude protracted and expensive litigation. It’s an opportunity to explore the needs, rights and interests of the parties. Dispute resolution provides an opportunity to guide the parties in a constructive direction and collaborate on a solution that avoids the expense and uncertainty of trial.

Very responsive and knowledgeable.  Gave me a free video consultation.  Very happy with the advice on my sister's probate and my own estate plan.

FRANK H. | Long Beach, CA

An Advocate You Can Rely on and Legal Expertise You Can Trust

Your Attorney

Dana M. Cannon has many years of experience with Probates, Conservatorships, Trusts and Estates. During that time she has advised clients on multi-million dollar trust administrations; handled complex litigation; performed estate planning; and represented clients in contested and uncontested conservatorship, guardianship, probate and trust matters.

She has been a volunteer at the Los Angeles Superior Court Pro Bono Probate Settlement Program since it began.  

She understands that these matters may not just involve money. They are often fueled by emotions and because of that this isn’t just business, it’s personal. She looks forward to assisting you with your legal needs.  

Law You Can Understand

I know that legal action can sometimes be overwhelming and confusing. If you don't feel like you understand your options, just ask, and I will ensure that you are well-informed so that you can feel confident in your legal options as you move forward.

Focus on Results

The first step in working with us is to develop a plan to help you get the outcome and results you need. Through my understanding of the law and your understanding of the specific circumstances, we will craft a path to your legal success.

Telephone or Virtual Consultation

Your health and well-being is important to me. Schedule your free telephone, virtual or socially distanced appointment today. 

I was very pleased with the response time and the assistance I received from Cannon Legal Firm. They gave me a free consultation and answered my questions. I will definitely be recommending Cannon Legal Firm to anyone who needs estate planning advice.

Bernice B. | HUNTINGTON Beach, CA

frequently asked questions

What is the difference between a Trust and a Will?

A Living Trust is a declaration for the management of the assets of the Settlor (the creator of the Trust) that is effective upon its creation for the administration and distribution of assets titled in the name of the Trust.  The assets are managed by an individual called a Trustee who is tasked with following the terms of the Trust and complying with the Probate Code, but usually without supervision by the Court.  It has the benefit of avoiding probate (if the assets are properly transferred to it) and also for the management of the assets of the Settlor during the Settlor’s lifetime, which can also avoid a conservatorship.  

A Will sets forth the Testator’s (the creator) wishes for the management and distribution of the Testator’s assets after his/her death. A Will can be used for the administration and distribution of any assets titled in the name of the Decedent alone.  If the Decedent dies with assets with a value in excess of $166,250 that are titled in his/her name alone or with California real property, the Will must be probated or subject to a summary probate proceeding. 

What’s a Durable Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney document appoints an individual, individuals or an institution to handle specified financial matters on behalf of the person delegating the power.  It is effective only for the assets titled in the name of the grantor individually.  An agent under a Power of Attorney (called an attorney-in-fact) cannot manage the assets titled in titled in the name of a Trust (unless they are also named as Trustee of the grantor’s Trust).  If it contains a provision that allows it to remain in effect upon the incapacity of the grantor, it is referred to as a Durable Power of Attorney. 

What is an Advance Health Care Directive?

An Advance Health Care Directive allows you to provide a written instruction for your physician, family, and friends so that they know your health care preferences, including the types of special treatment you want or don't want at the end of life, organ donation, and your wishes regarding your funeral, burial and/or cremation.

What is a Conservatorship?

Conservatorships are court-supervised proceedings that help protect individuals who are unable to protect themselves due to incapacity and/or susceptibility to undue influence. The court documents and procedures required to establish and maintain a conservatorship can be overwhelming. It’s a time consuming and expensive process in the best of circumstances.  It cannot always be avoided with a complete estate plan, but an estate plan with comprehensive Advanced Healthcare Directive; Durable Power of Attorney; and/or a Living Trust can allow family members or trusted advisors to step into the role of attorney-in-fact and/or successor trustee to manage the finances in lieu of a Conservatorship of the Estate and the agent under a healthcare directive can assist in making medical decisions in lieu of a Conservator of the Person.

What are some signs of elder abuse?

Physical Abuse - Unexplained old or new cuts, bruises, abrasions, burn marks, restraint marks, broken bones, fractures or dislocations.  Signs of over-medicating, such as decreased mobility, blank stares, drowsiness and excessive sleeping.

Neglect - Poor hygiene, bedsores.  Unsafe living conditions. Person left unattended. Unexplained weight loss and/or dehydration.  Missing dentures, glasses, aids or mobility aides.

Emotional Abuse - Unexplained change in sleeping or eating habits; confusion or disorientation. Changes in behavior, such as anxiety; sadness; depression; agitation; fear of talking openly; or being untruthful when questioned about circumstances. Caregiver(s) will not allow you to speak to alone or at all; or elder fears being left alone with certain people. Changes to a long-standing estate plan.

If you suspect elder abuse of someone you know, contact Adult Protective Services, local law enforcement, or where possible have the elderly person evaluated by a psychologist, psychiatrist or other medical professional who specializes in geriatric care. 

My mother died with a Trust, am I entitled to a copy of the Trust?

The short answer is: it depends.  If your mother was a widow or divorced when she died and it was only her Trust, not a joint Trust with someone else, then yes.  If your mother was married and her Trust was a joint Trust with her spouse, then you may be entitled to a copy if any portion of the Trust became irrevocable upon the death of your mother.   

According to California Probate Code Section16061.7, the Trustee of a Trust must provide a notice that informs you of the existence of the Trust, the name of the Trustee, and that you are entitled to a copy of the Trust in any of the following circumstances:

  • When a revocable trust or any portion thereof becomes irrevocable because of the death of one or more of the settlors of the trust, or because, by the express terms of the trust, the trust becomes irrevocable within one year of the death of a settlor because of a contingency related to the death of one or more of the settlors of the trust.
  • Whenever there is a change of trustee of an irrevocable trust.

If you think there was a Trust and think that you should be receiving a copy, the best thing to do is to send a letter or email to the person that you believe is the Trustee and request a copy of the Trust.  If that correspondence is ignored, you may need to hire an attorney to write a letter on your behalf.

Can a Trustee sell Trust real property without notifying the beneficiaries?

In general, yes.  Most Trusts allow Trustees broad powers to manage the assets, which includes buying and selling.  If there is a question, consult the Trust document and if that doesn’t answer your question, contact an attorney who can review it for you. 

As the beneficiary of a Trust I entitled to an accounting by a Trustee?

If the Trust is irrevocable due to the death of the Settlor(s) and you are a beneficiary, then you are likely entitled to an accounting.  Even if you aren’t entitled to a full accounting, as a beneficiary you have a right to receive information about the assets and the liabilities of a Trust.  If you believe you are entitled to an accounting, you should make your request in writing to the Trustee and keep a copy of the letter or email.  If after 60 days you haven’t received an accounting or some legitimate explanation as to why you aren’t entitled to an accounting, you are entitled to ask the Court to compel an accounting by the Trustee.

DISCLOSURE: The answers contained herein are general responses, based on California law. They are not legal advice and do not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship.

Fast response time and very helpful. Offered free virtual consultation.  Highly recommend.

BOB H. | LONG BEACH, CA

I understand that Legal matters can be confusing.

Schedule a Free Consultation to learn how I can help you feel more confident in the legal process.