Month: August 2020

What You Need to Know About Estate Planning

Estate Planning for Everyone

Thinking about your last will and testament may seem morbid. But as the pandemic has shown us, families have reconsidered the importance of preparing for the worst. In the early stages of the pandemic, there was a surge of people rushing to draft their last will. As we have previously written, these people include “parents of young kids, medical professionals in the frontlines, and the most vulnerable among us.” Estate planning is something everyone should consider even for those who do not have a lot of assets. 

Prepare for All Outcomes

Estate planning is not just getting your affairs in order in the event you die. In case you get incapacitated, having a plan in place will help your loved ones with decision making. Even the most careful drivers get into accidents and even the healthiest of people still fall ill. Here are options you need to know to account for all outcomes.

Last Wills

These take effect after your death and provide a road map for how you wish to dispose of your property and assets. Wills can be subject to probate, which is a publicly-recorded process to verify the validity and authenticity of a will. 


These are also known living trusts. These are not subject to the public probate and can be revocable or irrevocable. One big difference between the two is that with irrevocable trusts, you waive the rights to control your assets and assign a third party as the legal owner of your estate. Both types have their pros and cons as you consider tax implications and other factors.

Healthcare Proxies

With this option, you name someone to make medical decisions for you on your behalf, including the type of medical treatment you receive or refuse. This is also otherwise known as the medical power of attorney.  


The financial power of attorney or FPOA is similar to healthcare proxies but it applies to financial decisions including purchase of property, paying bills and taxes, managing financial accounts, and others.

Business Succession Planning

This helps family-owned businesses protect their assets in case of death or incapacitation. With many logistical and financial decisions to consider, make sure your business is prepared and included in your estate plan.

Your Southern California Estate Planning Attorneys

Don’t let the courts decide the fate of your children in the event of your death or incapacitation. Distribute your assets the way you would want by specifying it in your last will. Don’t wait until you are ill or incapacitated to prepare your loved ones for the future. Factor in all outcomes and consider legal counsel as you plan for your estate. Our experienced Southern California estate planning attorneys at Hoffman & Forde are here to help.

As a boutique law firm, we have experts across disciplines and relevant industries. With our creative solutions, your estate plan will be tailored to you and your goals. Invest in legal advice and set up your family for the future for peace of mind. Contact us today for a consultation.

Commercial Real Estate Outlook 2020 

Image of downtown San Diego

With a pandemic-induced recession still looming large in the United States, reports such as the Allen Matkins and UCLA Anderson Forecast provide valuable insight into the current state of commercial real estate. Here are some takeaways:

Office Space Markets

The survey looked into trends surrounding working from home and how this impacts office space demand. Will an increase in work from home setups decrease demand for office spaces? It appears that the answer is not as straightforward. Factors such as what industries are currently hiring (tech and finance) and which ones will ramp up hiring in the future (health care) need to be considered. The survey also notes that:

“Although half of the Bay Area and Southern California panelists said their plans for the coming 12 months were unaffected by the pandemic, one-third are ramping back development by more than 15 percent from their previous plans. Overall, 75 percent of panelists expressed some stress with current tenant leases. For the one-third that will engage in some new development, the panelists in each market believed that land, building materials, and labor costs would be more favorable.”

Developments are projected to be on the rise beginning in late 2021.

Retail Space Markets

One of the hardest hit industries during the pandemic has been retail. Workers could not come in, there was loss of income so consumers have little to spend, and consumers in general have increasingly been turning to online shopping thus affecting brick-and-mortar stores. Here’s what the survey says regarding retail space markets:

“In the Bay Area and Southern California, two-thirds of panelists will not develop any new properties in the coming 12 months. Approximately the same percentage expect difficulty with current leases and expect plummeting property values.”

New retail development projects are still happening but there is a significant decline.

Industrial Space Markets

While panelists from the survey are generally pessimistic about the retail markets, they believe that the demand for warehouse spaces will still see steady growth. 

“Sixty percent of the panelists in Southern California and 43 percent in Northern California are planning at least one new development in the next 12 months, and 39 percent and 29 percent are planning multiple projects respectively.”

However, “[i]f If the demand for warehouse space and the stock of warehouses are increasing at about the same rate as projected, then 2023 will see a mild erosion of rental rates when adjusted for inflation, and there remains the possibility of some erosion in occupancy.” The outlook for industrial spaces leans towards a more balanced one. 

Multi-Family Housing Markets

In a previous UCLA Anderson study, there was a contrast between Southern California and Bay Area development growth rates. Panelists predict that with economic recovery and growth, multi-family housing demands in both Southern California and the Bay Area will increase with it. 

“Though the UCLA Anderson Forecast is looking at a 30-month recovery in the state, and there remains a great deal of uncertainty with regard to the current public health crisis, the market for multi-family housing remaining robust seems likely. Indeed, in spite of the turn-around in sentiment from each of the six panels, almost three-fourths of the Southern California panelists and two-thirds of the Bay Area panelists stated that the pandemic had either not changed their plans for future activity or increased it.”

The survey concludes with a hopeful take. Jerry Nickelsburg, UCLA Anderson Forecast Director & Senior Economist, notes that “this survey is not what is going on now, but what is going to go on three years from now in 2023. Across these spaces, with the exception of retail, there is certainly some optimism about opportunities that may exist.”

Your Southern California Real Estate Attorneys

If you or your business need legal counsel regarding your commercial space, our real estate law firm can help. Hoffman & Forde’s real estate attorneys have years of experience handling commercial real estate cases and advising business owners about their rights and responsibilities. Schedule a complimentary consultation today and tell us how we can help.