If you want to draft a will, it may be in your best interest to speak to an experienced estate lawyer Sacramento trusts. A lawyer from Yee Law Group may help you prepare a will that meets your needs. Even though drafting your own will (or the will of a loved one) may not be the most enjoyable task, a valid and complete will may be invaluable down the road.
It’s possible to draft a will on your own but hiring an experienced estate lawyer may be in your best interest. Here are some of the benefits of hiring an estate lawyer from our firm:
- All Wills Are Different: No two wills are the same. Each person’s financial situation is unique. An experienced estate lawyer in Sacramento may help you create a customized will that fits your goals.
- Understand What an Estate Plan Can Do: While you may likely know that a will distributes your assets to your heirs upon your death, you may not be aware of everything your estate plan can do. For example, you might not know that your will allows you to make charitable contributions. With careful planning, you may even be able to reduce taxes. A trustworthy estate lawyer Sacramento depends on may inform you about all the tools and techniques available in estate planning.
- Avoid Problems in the Future: One of the main reasons to draft a will is to create a distribution plan for your assets after you pass. If there are errors in this plan, family members may fight over certain assets. They could also be required to go to probate court if there is an error in the will. If you have a skilled Sacramento estate lawyer draft your will, he or she may make sure it is done correctly so that you may avoid challenges in the future.
- Easier to Make Adjustments: Throughout your life, you may want to make changes to your will. For example, if one of your beneficiaries dies, you may want to remove that person from your will. If you work with a skilled estate lawyer Sacramento respects, making these adjustments may be a lot easier. A skilled lawyer could make the adjustment process as simple as possible, while still keeping the will valid.
4 Questions To Ask an Estate Lawyer
1. What Does an Initial Meeting Entail?
Before you choose an estate lawyer in Sacramento you want to inquire at different offices to figure out which attorney might be best suited for your situation. Asking different attorneys what their initial meeting will include and how much it will cost will be an important question that will help narrow down your search considerably. You want to walk into your first meeting knowing all information and documentation that you will need to have and all the points that will be covered. Yee Law Group has years of helpful experience so that your mind can be set at ease during your first estate planning consultation.
2. What If I Need To Make Changes?
It is incredibly important that you understand how any estate attorney handles changes that might need to be made to your estate plan. When hiring an estate lawyer in Sacramento you want to choose an office that is capable of handling any alterations to the initial plan you might formulate. Yee Law Group knows it is impractical to think that nothing in your situation will change over the course of the rest of your life. You want to know in advance how to go about making changes and make sure you are comfortable with how the lawyer’s office regularly addresses changes.
3. Do You Conduct Periodic Reviews?
Sometimes attorneys are known for completing a transaction request or contract for a client and then all communication ends. When it comes to estate planning that isn’t the type of lawyer you want to sign up with. The best estate law offices have protocols for conducting regular reviews of the estates they handle to make sure that everything is still in good shape and that the plan will still be effective if you were to pass away. Find an estate lawyer in Sacramento that is committed to making sure their client’s estates are always current.
4. What Happens If Your Business Changes?
This last question is not one most people think of, but you want to think in advance and consider a less than ideal scenario. If your lawyer retires, moves, or for some other reason goes out of business you need to know what will happen to all the work they have done for your estate plan. Basically, you want to know their backup plan so that your information and estate will still be taken care of.
When You Should Hire an Estate Planning Attorney
When Your Estate May Be Taxed
The federal government allows an estate tax exclusion of $11.7 million per person or $23.4 million for a couple. However, 17 states and Washington DC have started imposing estate taxes. If your assets are worth more than the federal exclusion or you live in a state that has an estate tax, you should seek the help of an estate lawyer in Sacramento.
Although California does not currently have an estate tax, your estate may be taxed under a number of other California regulations. Therefore, you may consider contacting an estate law firm, such as the Yee Law Group.
When You Have Children
Whether you have extensive assets or not, you need to have some form of an estate plan when you have minor children. Your estate lawyer in Sacramento should tell you that you need to determine who will provide and care for your children if something happens to you or your spouse. With a will, you can designate who will serve as a guardian to your children. You may also request that your children’s guardian manage their inheritance until they are either 18 or 21, depending on the state’s laws.
If you have extensive assets, you may also create a trust with a responsible trustee that handles financial distributions to your children’s guardians and holds the rest of the assets until the children are ready to receive them.
When You Have Privacy Concerns
Once your estate goes through probate, it becomes a public record. However, you can protect your privacy and prevent your estate from becoming a public record with the help of an estate lawyer in Sacramento. These professionals can guide you in creating living trusts, which allow your assets to pass directly to your beneficiaries without going through the probate process. Because these records are not made public, creditors and your relatives do not have access to them. Therefore, their challenges to your will shouldn’t be as effective. In addition, your beneficiaries are protected because others won’t know about all the assets they inherited.
When You Have Philanthropic Desires
Like many others, you may want to donate part of your estate to a nonprofit or religious organization. An attorney from the Yee Law Group can guide you on the best way to distribute assets or money to these organizations. For example, it may be better to list charities as your beneficiaries on IRA assets than to distribute cash to them through your will. You can also set up regular distributions or income streams for charities from your retirement plan or charitable remainder trust, which can be distributed while you are alive.
Do I Need a Living Will or a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare?
Many American adults wait for decades before they get around to constructing an estate plan. Some younger adults understandably assume that because they have yet to accumulate many assets, there is little point to drafting a will specifically or an estate plan generally. However, there are two estate planning tools that every non-dependent American adult should establish as soon as they reach adulthood. The first is a living will and the second is a durable power of attorney for healthcare. Neither has to do with property and both are relevant to virtually every individual in America over the age of 17. An estate lawyer Sacramento residents trust can explain how these documents will benefit you.
If you have yet to draft a legally enforceable version of either or both of these estate planning tools for yourself, please consider connecting with an estate lawyer from our firm today. After you schedule a consultation, we will be able to guide you through the process of formalizing your wishes. Once you have completed this relatively straightforward legal process, you will not need to go through it again later in life. You will simply need to contact us if you ever decide to update your wishes or replace the individual designated as your power of attorney.
The Basics: Living Wills
Living wills allow individuals to outline their wishes related to medical care in the event of an emergency or incapacitation. Within living wills, individuals may specify which treatments they do and do not consent to receive, whether they wish to be resuscitated and how they prefer to approach quality of life issues. Depending on how it is structured, primary health care directives may function as living wills. Drafting such a document is critical because, as an estate lawyer can attest, you do not want to leave these important decisions up to chance or loved ones who are unsure of your preferences.
The Basics: Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare
In addition to drafting a living will, it is important to designate a durable power of attorney. Whereas living wills outline an individual’s preferences, a durable power of attorney is empowered to make decisions on behalf of an individual who is too ill or injured to make decisions on his or her own behalf. Although instructions outlined in a living will provide valuable guidance, oftentimes patients in serious or critical condition will need decisions made that are not necessarily covered by the terms of a living will. When it comes to healthcare, the unexpected has a way of intervening at inconvenient times. Designating someone you trust as your durable power of attorney for healthcare will help to ensure that you are well taken care of if situations arise that are not outlined in your living will and you cannot respond to the situation yourself.
Family Heirlooms and Estate Planning
When people think of wills and estate plans, their focus is usually on assets such as financial accounts, vehicles, and real estate. However, there are other valuables that many of us own and that is family heirlooms – the cherished items that are passed on from generation to generation. Many people find that it is much easier to decide how their savings account will be divided amongst their family members, than it is to decide how heirlooms will be divided. You also want to make sure the loved ones you name to receive certain items not only appreciate the article, but that the gesture won’t anger others and make them jealous.
An estate planning attorney from Yee Law Group understands how delicate these situations can be and can help you navigate through the process of deciding how to divide your estate. When you need an estate lawyer Sacramento, CA, call our office for assistance. In the meantime, the following tips may help you get started with the process.
Professionals Podcasting Caught Up with Mike Yee to Discuss the Basics of Estate Planning
Estate Lawyer Sacramento, CA Explains How to Avoid a Family Rift
You only have one strand of pearls from your great-aunt, but you have three daughters. So how do you decide who gets the pearls when you pass away? One of the best ways to decide is to ask each loved one if there are any items that they would like to have when you die to remember you by. If more than one chooses the same item, then you will need to decide which loved one you would prefer to have the item and the reasons why.
Many people choose to give their loved ones any family heirlooms before they pass away in order to help avoid the hard feelings that can happen later on. It is also important to distribute any heirlooms equally among your heirs. This helps avoid any hard feelings. If you choose not to do this, then make sure you are specific in your will as to who should receive an item.
Conversely, there may be the opposite issue with heirlooms your loved ones don’t want items you feel have sentimental value. Instead of fighting over who gets what, your loved ones could be fighting over who is forced to keep an item. Maybe no one in the family wants Grandpa’s grand piano. This is another reason why having the talk before you make out your will can be helpful. An estate lawyer Sacramento, CA can offer advice and guidance on how to navigate these difficult conversations.
In addition to heirlooms that have value, such as jewelry, furniture, and collectables, you may also have heirlooms with a low dollar value but high sentimental value. Items such as photographs, letters, videos, and other mementos that capture a family’s history may not be worth anything to an outsider but can be priceless to your loved ones. It is important to decide what should be done with these items in order to avoid any family disagreements.
Estate Planning Assistance Is Available
If you have any questions about the estate planning process, please do not hesitate to schedule a consultation with a Sacramento estate lawyer from our firm. We are passionate about ensuring that our clients’ wishes are both legally enforceable and treated with respect. The act of creating an estate plan can be intimidating and somewhat stressful in the moment. But taking steps to safeguard your wishes related to your healthcare and property will almost certainly leave you feeling as if a weight has been lifted off your shoulders by the time your initial work with us has been completed. Each estate lawyer from Yee Law Group is also committed to helping you to easily and effectively update your estate plan whenever doing so is appropriate throughout your lifetime.
Hiring an Estate Lawyer
There is no better time than the present to make an appointment to see an experienced estate lawyer Sacramento relies on. At Yee Law Group, we bring clarity into the confusing process of drafting a will. We have helped countless individuals, couples, and families make important decisions regarding their financial wellbeing. We understand that each person’s situation may vary quite a bit, and we’re capable of considering these factors when drafting wills and trusts.
Creating a will is important and not something you should put off. Drafting a will can give you — and your family members — peace of mind. To meet with a skilled estate lawyer Sacramento offers, contact Yee Law Group, PC. today.
“I recently visited the main office of Yee Law Group in Land Park, Sacramento. The lawyers and their support staff were all so friendly and inviting. The office space is recently remodeled with a clean, bright, modern look. Michael was timely for our meeting and made me feel welcome, valued and safe. I would definitely recommend this office for your estate planning and probate matters. It is so priceless to have a strong, kind legal team with you to navigate trust and estate documents. A+ to Michael and his team!”