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Tips For An Easy Start To Estate Planning

Estate planning is the process of choosing who will receive what portion of your assets in the event of your incapacitation or after you pass away. Developing an estate plan is often done with assistance from a legal team, to ensure that the document is legally binding and that beneficiaries and heirs receive assets in such a way that there is minimal interference or delay. If you are in need of some tips to help you get started on an estate plan, consider these easy tips below.

Start By Inventorying Your Stuff

You may think that you do not have enough assets or money to justify writing an estate plan. As you begin to look around your house and outside of it, you may be shocked to see all of the tangible or intangible assets that you have. Examples of tangible assets that may be within an estate include vehicles, homes, land, vacation properties, boats, motorcycles, collectibles, antiques, jewelry, furniture, personal possessions, and more. 

Intangible assets can be things like savings and checking accounts, certificates of deposit, mutual funds, stocks, bonds, retirement plans, life insurance policies, business ownership, and health savings accounts. After you have inventory of your assets, you’ll have to estimate what their value is worth. Some assets are going to be worth more than others, and some are going to be purely sentimental. 

Consider Needs Of Family

After you have a better sense of what is within your estate, you’ll need to think about how you’re going to protect these assets and ensure that your family, friends, and/or charity organizations receive them once you are gone. You may need to ask yourself how much life insurance you need, and what factors such as being married or current lifestyle habits require two incomes. If you have a child with college tuition bills or special needs then it may be even more important to have a life insurance policy. Your lawyer, such as an estate planning lawyer Knoxville, TN families trust from Carpenter & Lewis PLLC, can discuss your insurance needs on an individual basis. 

Talk With Beneficiaries
While having a conversation with your beneficiaries about your estate plan may not be easy per se, as it entails talking about a time when you were no longer here with them, it may be necessary. Some people choose to talk about what is in their estate plan with beneficiaries because then they have people who know what to expect later in life and can help ensure that their wishes are carried out properly. Chances are, as the team from Carpenter & Lewis PLLC can attest, your beneficiaries have your best interest at heart, and want to know how they can help make sure that your legacy is carried on to future generations in the way that you wish. If you do not communicate with anyone about your estate plan, or the fact that it exists at all, then you may risk it not being found and abided by after your death.

DC News Anchor Charged With DUI

DC News Anchor Charged With DUI

 

Driving Under The Influence in DC

A Washington DC news anchor, Leon Harris, was charged with DUI in late January 2022 while driving in Maryland. He also was charged with additional charges which included an attempt to evade the police, failure to remain at the scene of the accident, and driving while impaired with alcohol. The incident that led to these charges was first brought to the attention of police when Harris rear-ended one vehicle which then in turn rear-ended another vehicle. The police reported no serious injuries at the crash but did spot Harris attempting to leave the scene of the accident he caused. Harris subsequently failed a breathalyzer test after police stopped him from leaving the scene. It was also revealed that Harris was charged with DUI in 2013 in another incident. 

Virginia DUI/DWI

The State of Virginia considers DUI to be driving under the influence. They also deem DWI to be driving while intoxicated. These two terms can be considered the same when it comes to the law. This offense is a serious one in Virginia and DC. Fines could be in the hundreds to thousands of dollars. Jail time is even ordered in some cases when it is a second offense within a certain time frame. Facing these charges can be a difficult thing to overcome on one’s own. In order to fight these charges or see reduced jail time or fees, it may be helpful to contact a professional or a lawyer who deals in these realms. 

How a DWI Lawyer Can Assist

A lawyer who specializes in DUI and DWI offenses can be a great asset to have on one’s side. Whether it is someone’s first offense or a follow-up offense it is important to understand the law and how it pertains to people facing these charges. Fines and even jail time may be ordered in these cases. Getting these items dismissed or reduced is something that is well within a DWI lawyer’s skillset. A DWI lawyer will take the time to understand the details and nuances of the case. They will sit down with the person who has been charged and help them to understand the full scope of the charges and go over the evidence with them. Their knowledge and experience can offer quite a bit of peace and confidence for getting through this difficult time. 

DWI Law Firm

If you or someone you know are facing a DWI charge and don’t know what to do or are in need of assistance then  Our lawyers have experience in helping people face these charges and receive a reduction in fees or other things ordered by a court. Waiting too long or not having the right representation could see the charges intensify or fees heightened. Contact us today to learn more about the process and hocontact a DWI lawyer Fairfax, VA residents trust and know from Maw Law, LLP.w we can help.

California’s Probate System May Change Soon

California’s Probate System May Change Soon

Probate May Be Overhauled in California Soon

The month of September may see a change in the probate system in California. Many people in the past few years have begun to start to contemplate how probate and probate conservatorships work. After many questionable examples of conduct in both conservatorships and in probate have occurred so have the calls for change. Assembly Bill 1663 is the bill that has now passed through both California State Houses and the Legislature as of September 1st, 2022. Governor Newsom is expected to make his decision about the bill prior to the end of September according to the East Bay Times. This bill is supposed to help make it tougher to have conservatorships approved. Some people have gone through some difficult times under conservatorships where their rights have been violated. The bill seeks to make it harder for conservatorship approval and is seeking to make it easier to cancel one. 

Issues With Probate

The probate process within itself can be something that a family could spend years fighting through. For example, when someone passes away without a will, their estate may go through probate for years where assets are proven and verified. Those assets must then be passed on to rightful heirs. When someone passes away with a will the probate process is generally quicker. The court will verify the will and ensure that someone is trusted to pass on assets to heirs.   

What is a Conservatorship?

A conservatorship is appointed by a judge. The judge appoints a professional, a family member, or someone trustworthy to the person to make decisions on that person’s behalf. These decisions may involve financial matters, health issues, and more. While some conservatorships are needed for certain individuals who no longer can make decisions on their own others may differ. As people age and life becomes more difficult for them they need people in their lives to sometimes act on their behalf and make coherent decisions. A trustworthy family member or very close friend may be called upon to make these decisions for someone. Assembly Bill 1663 wouldn’t see that help taken away but would seek to put stricter rulings in place to ensure those in need are getting help from someone who truly cares.

How a Lawyer Can Help

Whether it be issues like conservatorships, estate planning, livings wills, trusts, or other things related to probate a lawyer can help. Lawyers who work in the realm of probate and estate planning can make things much easier for individuals who are struggling to make decisions on their own. A probate lawyer Folsom, CA resident’s trust can go a long way to ensuring that everything related to probate and estate planning is taken care of. If you or someone you know is in need of help with probate then reach out to

Yee Law Group, P.C. today for assistance with these matters. Our law firm has helped many people navigate these complex circumstances and issues.

summer hammock estate plan

Taking a Summer Vacation? Now Is a Great Time to Check Up on Your Estate Plan!

Summer vacations may not seem like the time of the year to make sure you have a solid estate plan in place, but it actually can be one of the best times to do it, especially if you are doing any extended traveling. While we never want to think that the day may come that we will no longer be here to take care of our family, it is so important that when that day comes, we have taken the appropriate steps to make sure they still will be when we are gone.

And there is also one more important reason to make sure you have an estate plan in place. If you die without one, then the intestacy laws of California will determine how your estate is distributed and those distributions may not be how you would have wanted it. If you die without a will, this is legally referred to as dying intestate. California’s interstate law are very specific in how a decedent’s assets will be distributed. This is referred to as intestate distribution.

Who Inherits What?

Under California law, if you are married but do not have a will when you die, what your spouse inherits depends on the ownership of your property – whether the property was community (acquired while you were married) or separate (acquired before you were married).

Your spouse will inherit the community property. If you had separate property, your spouse may inherit a portion or all of it. The problem is that without a will, any other relative you have – living children, parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews – may all be entitled to a share of your separate property. Even if you intended that your spouse inherit that vacation home you purchased before you were married, without a will, your long-lost nephew could actually be entitled to half.

Other Issues to Consider

It’s not just failing to have a will that can cause issues. There are other important documents that everyone should have in place to make sure their wishes are met. If you have minor children, you should make sure your estate plan includes naming a legal guardian for them.

You may also want to discuss setting up trusts in order to help avoid the probate process and minimize any estate tax obligations. It is also important to have a power of attorney set up that names someone to handle your finances should something happen to you and you are no longer physically able to do so. At the same time, you can have your attorney draft a healthcare proxy that names a trusted individual to act as a proxy to make medical decisions for you should you be unable to do so.

Call Our Office Today

If you would like to learn more about the estate planning tools that are available and may be beneficial for your family, contact Yee Law Group to schedule a free consultation with one of our dedicated Sacramento, CA estate planning attorneys.

Williams v. National Western Life Insurance Company

In Williams v. National Western Life Insurance Company, the California Supreme Court found that an insurance agent was guilty of financial negligence and elder abuse. As a good, trustworthy probate lawyer in Roseville, CA will tell you, this sort of case is not too uncommon; in general, there seem to be a rising number of scams and elder abuse. If you are in the process of setting up a living trust — or really creating any sort of estate planning — make sure you do so with an attorney by your side to help avoid issues such as this one.

The Case

In Williams v. National Western Life Insurance Company, the plaintiff sought to revise a living trust; a living trust, if you are not familiar, is a document used to bypass probate court after someone dies. An appointed trustee is in charge of all legal assets that go into the trust. In this case, the plaintiff met with an insurance agent who sold them a $100,000 annuity from National Western Life Insurance Company. This annuity came with a 30-day trial period essentially, and the plaintiff ended up returning it within that window.

With help from the insurance agent, the plaintiff received a new annuity, but the plaintiff canceled that as well — well within the 30-day period. However, the insurance company charged the plaintiff close to $15,000 for surrendering the annuity because the company said it was not returned within the free trial window. This case was reviewed several times at different levels of the judicial system. In the end, the California Supreme Court found that the insurance agent was liable for negligence and elder abuse because in the insurance questionnaire, the agent stated the plaintiff’s income was greater than he was told, and increased the plaintiff’s net worth to a higher, untrue value.

Tips for Estate Planning

Estate planning is an important process that everyone should go through, regardless of age or wealth. A living trust can be a great way to ensure your assets are distributed the way you want, and to avoid probate. Probate can be a long and expensive process, so it’s best to consult with a probate lawyer before getting started. If at any time you would like to revise a trust, make sure to speak with your attorney before doing so. A probate lawyer will be able to advise you on the best course of action and recommend companies they trust to work with so you can feel secure in your decisions.

After you’ve begun your estate planning, you might be concerned about things that happen after your death, particularly if your beneficiary is a minor or someone who is unable to manage their money. To avoid probate while ensuring your loved ones are able to access money as needed, consider setting up a trust for any minors or individuals with special needs in your life. This can help make sure their funds are accessible to them when they need it and avoid problems associated with probate, such as fraud and mismanagement by those responsible for managing your affairs post-death. Again, working with an experienced probate lawyer is essential to making sure everything goes smoothly for you and for those you leave behind.

At Yee Law Group, P.C., our probate lawyers are ready to help guide you through the estate planning process so that you can avoid potential scams and create a plan you feel comfortable with; contact us today!

Having The Talk: How To Talk To Loved Ones About A Cancer Diagnosis

It’s the word that weighs down any sentence it’s mentioned in. It’s the discussion that no one is ever prepared for. It’s cancer, and if you have recently been diagnosed, you may feel remiss as to how to have this discussion with loved ones. Although there are no ‘tried and true’ ways to talk about a cancer diagnosis, the following are a few strategies in which you can approach the discussion according to our friends at Expicare Nursing.

Take Your Time

This process is based solely on how you are feeling. Take your time to process your own emotions, and approach the subject only when you feel ready.

Use Support Resources

If you feel as though you cannot manage this conversation by yourself, you can always reach out for support. There are support groups and mental health counselors that can be there to help facilitate the conversation. This resource can bolster you through the process and provide support for both you and your loved ones.

Convey the Facts

When you don’t know where to start, sometimes it’s best to start with the simple truth. Let them know that you have cancer. Explain the type that you have and let them know the treatment regimen. Explain why you are using that treatment and how it will help the situation.

Manage Expectations

If your diagnosis means that you will be operating in a different capacity than before, you should let your loved ones know. This could be a difference in mobility, work capability, or any other lifestyle change.

Empower Emotions

If you are so called, you can talk about how you are feeling. A diagnosis is a heavy burden and sharing with others can aid in the process of healing. When we discuss our emotions, we allow others to provide their support, perspective, and strategies to help.

Say What You Need

One of the best things you can do during this cancer conversation is tell the people in your life what you need. Diagnoses are life-interrupting events. They create gaps in the spaces that allow for a day to day life to function. Talk with your loved one’s about these gaps and see how they can help. Do you need someone to sit with you during treatments? Do you need someone to walk the dog or get groceries? Would you like someone to help hire a home health aide? Contact a home health aide for help today.

5 Reasons You Need a Will

You might be thinking that you don’t need a will — but the truth is that most people do. If you don’t have a will, your property will be passed to your heirs through the probate process. Probate can take months or even years, and it can leave your family members with huge legal bills.

Here are three reasons why you need a will:

1. You’ll Avoid Probate

One of the biggest advantages of having a will is that it avoids estate litigation and eliminates the need for probate court proceedings. Probate court is notoriously time-consuming and expensive, so avoiding it by having a probate lawyer in Folsom CA will in place is always beneficial.

2. You’ll Save Money on Taxes

When you die without a will, your assets are distributed according to state law and not according to your wishes. This means that if you want your assets to go toward helping someone else (such as your children) rather than paying off debts (such as medical bills), they won’t necessarily do so unless they’re explicitly stated in your estate plan.

If you have a probate lawyer in Folsom, in CA draw up an estate plan for you, he or she can help ensure that this happens and reduce taxes at the same time!

3. You Have Substantial Assets

If you have a large amount of personal property and/or real estate, a will is necessary to avoid probate when you die. Probate is the court process that claims your assets from your estate.

It can take several months or even years to complete this process depending on the value of your estate and the complexity of your affairs. In addition, there are fees associated with probate which can cost upwards of $5,000 or more depending on the size of your estate.

4. You’re a parent

If you have children, a will is an essential document that ensures your child’s best interest is met. A will allows you to name guardians for minor children and decide how their inheritance will be distributed. A trust can also be created for your children’s benefit.

5. A will protects your family from financial ruin during an emotional crisis

The death of a loved one is never easy on survivors — but when there’s money involved, things get even harder. Some people who are grieving may make poor financial decisions out of desperation or anger, which could cause major problems for their surviving family members after they pass away. Without an estate plan in place, this could mean losing your home or having creditors come after your loved ones for money owed by the deceased person before his or her passing date.

Why Hire the Yee Law Group, P.C. as Your Probate Lawyer

The Yee Law Group, P.C. is a full-service probate law firm in Los Angeles. We are dedicated to helping our clients achieve their goals and guide them through the legal process with ease.

We understand that the death of a loved one can be an emotional time for family members, so we take the time to listen carefully and answer all your questions. Our goal is to help you through this difficult time by providing compassionate and attentive legal representation.

TBI Recovery Costs And Legal Options

Suffering a traumatic brain injury can change every aspect of a person’s life. Even a relatively minor traumatic brain injury, such as a concussion, can have lasting effects on a person’s relationships, education, work life, health, and overall well-being. Unfortunately, recovering from a traumatic brain injury can also have a significant impact on a person’s finances. In addition to any medical costs that were sustained immediately after the injury in question occurred, ongoing medical care, lost wages, and any adjustments that must be made to one’s life can result in financial strain.

It is partially because the costs associated with TBI recovery are usually so significant that it is important for TBI victims to speak with a lawyer about their legal and financial options in the wake of sustaining harm. As an experienced personal injury lawyer – including those who practice at Kreizer Law – can confirm, many TBI victims are entitled to significant compensation as a result of the effects that their injuries have had on their lives.

Filing a Successful Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you have recently suffered a traumatic brain injury, you may have many opportunities for legal and financial recourse available to you at this time. For example, if the circumstances surrounding your injury were not your fault and were someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to a significant personal injury damage award.

Essentially, if another’s negligence, recklessness, or intentionally harmful actions or inactions directly caused your injuries, chances are very good that you are in a strong position to file a personal injury lawsuit against that responsible party. With that said, there are exceptions to this general rule, so it is important to have your situation evaluated by an attorney before committing to a legal plan of action.

Concerns About Partial Fault

Oftentimes, traumatic brain injury victims hesitate to explore their legal options because they are convinced that if they were partially to blame for their injuries that they are not entitled to any compensation. In reality, injury victims who are partially at fault for their injuries often remain entitled to receive significant personal injury compensation. If you were partially to blame for your injury, the amount of compensation to which you may be entitled will depend upon both your circumstances and the approach that your state law takes to the concept of comparative fault. An attorney can explore this reality with you in detail.

When You Should Hire An Estate Planning Attorney

It’s very easy to put estate planning on the back burner as everyday life gets in the way, but you don’t want to leave your family in a mess if something happens to you and there is no will to dictate your wishes, which is why it is important to hire an estate planning lawyer in Roseville, CA to help. But, when should you hire an estate planning attorney? Our lawyers at Yee Law Group, P.C. have put together a list for you below!

You Reach Adulthood

Your estate plan should involve more than just a will or trust. It should also include legal, medical and financial powers of attorney if you are incapacitated. It may also include information about your funeral or how you want your remains treated. Therefore, you don’t always need assets to make an estate plan worthwhile.

When you become an adult, you are legally allowed to enter into contracts. Therefore, you cannot write a legal will before you turn 18 years of age. At this point, you may choose to consult an estate planning lawyer about a will or estate plan. A legally binding document is the only way your loved ones know what you want to be done with your assets, at your funeral or with your medical care if you are incapacitated.

There Is Dissention in Your Family

If you have multiple possible heirs or you have individuals you want to leave out of your estate plan or asset distribution, you need to work with an estate planning law firm. These professionals can clearly record your assets and which beneficiaries will receive them. They can also help you choose an executor or trustees who have no personal attachment to any member of the family and can distribute the assets without bias.

You Have Accumulated Assets

Each state has specific laws regarding estates and how they are distributed or taxed after your death if you don’t have a will or other documentation. Therefore, when you start accumulating assets, you should seek the counsel of an estate planning attorney. These individuals can help you keep track of your assets and identify who should receive them when you are no longer alive.

Working with an estate planning lawyer can also protect your assets from improper distribution. In addition, your estate can receive legal challenges that are easier to fight with proper estate planning.

You Have Children

An attorney can tell you that it is vital that you name guardians for your children. Therefore, when you start having children, you need to start working with an estate planning lawyer.

You are responsible for the physical, emotional and religious upbringing of your children. However, if you are ever incapacitated or if you die before they become legal adults, your children will need new guardians. You don’t want the state to decide who gets to care for your children. Therefore, you should discuss guardianship with individuals you trust who have the same values and adequate finances to care for your children. Get their consent. Then, you should meet with your estate planning attorney.

Contact an estate planning lawyer today!

Finding The Right Probate Lawyer

It may seem like having any probate lawyer in Folsom, CA will help. However, it is important that you are working with someone who is compassionate and understands when creating these types of documents as it may be hard for you. They can help you design a comprehensive estate plan and ensure everything is finalized before submitting the paperwork. Our lawyers at Yee Law Group, P.C. have put together some information on what a probate lawyer does and how to find the right one for you!

What Does a Probate Lawyer Do?

When a person draws up a will, they are required to appoint someone as executor of their estate. The executor is responsible for overseeing the estate and disposition of any property and possessions after the person dies. This includes ensuring heirs receive the assets or property that is left to them, paying off the debts and taxes of the estate, and carrying out any other wishes of the deceased person. This process is referred to as probate and must be done under the auspices of the court.

A probate lawyer, sometimes referred to as an estate lawyer, assists the person who has been named as the executor of an estate through the probate process. The first thing a probate lawyer clients recommend will do is file a petition for probate in the county in which the deceased person lived. There may be other documentation filed as well. Shortly after this filing, the court will approve the executor appointment as long as there are no objections from any other qualified parties.

Some of the legal issues that a probate lawyer can help an executor address include:

  •     Identifying and securing all of the assets and property of the deceased
  •     Appraisals of all of the estate’s property
  •     Collection of life insurance policies
  •     Filing all required documentation with the courts
  •     Overseeing all retirement accounts and/or pensions
  •     Overseeing all estate property sales
  •     Negotiating settlements between beneficiaries of the estate
  •     Addressing all estate and income tax issues

A probate lawyer can help you determine which assets you have⁠ — your money, your property⁠ — and how you want to distribute assets among others before you pass away and after you pass away. While it is important for them to know what your goals are when it comes to estate planning, they can also help you with local laws and ordinances regarding your estate. This can be particularly helpful when you want to avoid beneficiaries or people you may choose to leave out of your will from contesting it.

Further, instead of simply helping create an estate plan for after you die, you may also wish to have documents in place that specify what kind of care you want in the event that you become mentally or physically incapacitated. It can be helpful for your attorney to walk you through different documents, like a power of attorney document or a living will, and discuss the benefits that each document has. Your attorney will also be able to discuss the different laws in place and explain why a will or a trust may be more beneficial to you and your heirs in certain circumstances. This can set you up for success even before finishing your end-of-life documents.

Contact a probate lawyer for help today!