Estate Planning Lawyer in Folsom CA
Unless you are a legal professional, the ins and outs of estate plans may be somewhat nebulous to you. You may wonder what should be included in your plan, how detailed it must be, and how it should be written. As an estate planning lawyer in Folsom CA from a firm like Yee Law Group, PC can explain, you should consider several things you must keep in mind to form a thorough estate plan.
1. Will and Testament
Your last will and testament may cover a wide range of topics. If you have children who are minors, for example, your will should designate a guardian and backup guardian for them. Additionally, your will should address all of your assets, both the tangible and intangible ones. Be sure to include your bank accounts, retirement accounts, stocks, properties, vehicles, jewelry, and other valuables.
When a person dies, his or her will is frequently handled in probate court. Probate can be time-consuming and expensive, so it’s best to make your will as transparent as possible. One way to minimize confusion is to let insurance companies and financial institutions know who will be the beneficiaries of your life insurance policies and retirement accounts. You can also set up some accounts to include a transfer on death designation.
Depending on the size of your estate and how you wish your assets to be distributed, you may find it beneficial to set up a trust. Trusts can either be living or testamental, meaning they can come into effect before or after your death. You can also choose to create a revocable or irrevocable trust. The latter frequently has significant tax advantages.
4. Power of Attorney
In many situations, it’s critical that someone other than yourself be able to make key decisions regarding your estate. Otherwise, people may not know how to handle difficult choices if you are ill or badly injured. Durable power of attorney allows another person to make legal and financial decisions for you. You can also grant someone medical power of attorney so he or she can make choices regarding your medical care.
5. Debts and Taxes
To ensure your family members do not experience a financial burden when you die, it’s important to account for any outstanding debts or federal estate taxes you may owe. For example, if you will be passing on a retirement account, you may wish to convert it to a Roth IRA so the beneficiary isn’t responsible for paying the taxes.
Seeing to all the details of your estate can be an overwhelming process. Be sure to consult an estate planning lawyer to make sure your final wishes are expressed clearly and that you don’t pay more taxes than necessary.