Many people make the mistake of thinking that serious accidents or injuries are not likely to happen to them, which can prevent important steps in planning for the future. Regardless of your age or current state of health, it is beneficial to have an advance health care directive in place so that your wishes are met should you become unable to make decisions about your own care.
As this video explains, an advance health care directive will allow you to state your wishes about future medical care and give a loved one the legal right to make decisions on your behalf when it comes to life-sustaining treatment. Speaking with your doctor and an experienced estate planning lawyer will allow you to create a directive that is best for your needs and beliefs.
If you’ve been thinking of consulting an estate planning attorney, you may already be considering what information to include in your will . It’s true that creating a last will and testament in Tracy or Manteca is part of estate planning; however, the estate planning process may also include the creation of a trust and the designation of a trustee. When you do create a will with the help of your lawyer, you may prefer that the will include instructions for settling any tax debts, designating a guardian for minor children, and providing for any pets, in addition to naming beneficiaries of your assets.
Your attorney may recommend that you create a trust if you would like to minimize estate and gift taxes, or avoid the probate process for all assets in the trust. Your trust could also be used to establish conditions for the distribution of your assets after your death. A third essential component of estate planning is designating a trustee to ensure your wishes are carried out after your death. Many people name loved ones as trustees, while others designate their lawyer.
An estate planning lawyer in Tracy can manage your estate during your life and properly allocate assets upon your death. This is a significant responsibility, so it is essential to find an attorney who is properly qualified with sufficient experience in estate planning. One way to assess a potential attorney’s experience is by checking if he or she is backed by a leading council agency.
In this video, an attorney explains how to find and consult with an estate planning attorney. As she explains, you should check client reviews and make sure your attorney is a good fit for your personality. You should also ask specific questions about communication to determine how transparent he or she will be in planning and managing your estate. In addition, it is a good idea to discuss initial consultation fees during your first interaction.
Regardless of how substantial or modest an estate is, estate planning is essential. By working with an estate planning lawyer in Tracy or Livermore, you can ensure that your final wishes will be carried out. It’s not uncommon for individuals to try to handle their own estate planning needs. However, this is usually not a good idea. An estate planning attorney can help you with so much more than just drafting your will; he or she will make sure your will is valid and can be upheld in court. Your attorney can also help you make informed decisions by explaining estate planning options that you may not yet be aware of.
What Happens If I Die Intestate?
When a person dies intestate, it means that he or she has passed on without a will. After this occurs, that individual’s estate is subject to division according to state laws. Typically, assets are distributed to immediate family members, such as the surviving spouse and children. This could be problematic for those who do not want their assets to go to these individuals.
What Is Probate?
State laws for probate vary. In general, however, it is the process by which a will is recognized as valid and the executor is given the authority to distribute assets. Probate is supervised by the court. It is possible to avoid probate by transferring assets to a trust. If a trust is created, a trustee will transfer assets to the appropriate parties after your death.
How Is a Will Made Valid?
Ensuring that the will is valid is one of the many benefits of having a lawyer handle your estate planning. In order to execute a will, you must sign it in front of witnesses.
What Happens If I Own Joint Property?
There are some limitations on what a will can and can’t do. For example, it cannot direct the transfer of jointly owned property. For example, if you own a house with your spouse, full ownership will transfer to your spouse upon your death. Joint ownership offers some advantages. If you wish, you can add a family member’s name to a bank account, for example, and specify that the individual has the right of survivorship. This means that upon your death, that individual would have access to funds in that account to pay your bills and funeral expenses.
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