Estate Planning Lawyer Sacramento, CA
Have you drafted a will? If you are a parent, have you formally named a guardian for your minor or otherwise dependent children upon your death or incapacitation? Have you named a financial, medical, and/or general power of attorney in the event of incapacitation? Have you legally prepared for how you would like to be cared for at the end of your life?
If your answer to any of these questions is “No,” please do not panic and do not feel guilty. Millions of American adults have not yet drafted important estate planning documentation and talking about this process is not a widely embraced practice in American culture. What is important is that you act on the need to draft a comprehensive estate plan now. None of us knows how long we will have before we become incapacitated or cease to walk the Earth. Working with an experienced Sacramento, CA estate planning lawyer at Yee Law Group can help you ensure that you and your loved ones are legally prepared for either of these scenarios—whenever they may unfold.
Estate Planning Lawyer – Sacramento, CA
It is important to work with a law firm that specializes in estate planning because the process has become increasingly complex and riddled with nuance in recent years. Additionally, firms that do not specialize in this area of law may be unfamiliar with various tax implications, digital estate planning considerations, and various, lesser-known estate planning resources.
Constructing a Comprehensive Estate Plan
When you create a comprehensive estate plan, you’ll be preparing to pass along your assets in the event of your death, prepare for guardianship for minor or otherwise dependent children in the event of your death, and plan for access to your digital accounts in the event of death or incapacitation. You’ll also prepare for end-of-life care and for management of your financial, medical, general, and (if applicable) business needs in the event of your incapacitation. You can also opt to pass along assets during your lifetime using specific estate planning tools. Our firm can help you to achieve any/all of these goals as they are relevant to your life circumstances.
What To Expect During the Reading of a Will
Close Family Members and the Executor Are Named
At the beginning of the will list the deceased’s close family members. A Sacramento estate planning lawyer from Yee Law Group states that anyone listed here will typically receive something in the will. If a person is not going to be receiving anything, their name will likely not be mentioned in this section. The beginning of the will also list the person who will be the executor of the will. The executor of the will is legally responsible for taking care of any remaining financial obligations and for dispersing items as listed in the will. The executor may be expected to post a bond, which protects the estate in case the executor steals the funds of the estate.
The Gifts Will Be Listed
The chances are that the will lists specific gifts that are supposed to go to specific people. Most of the time, though, people do not actually leave specific gifts to certain people. Instead, they leave everything to one person or they split it between several people equally. There are other types of gifts as well, though.
- Conditional Gifts – Sometimes, there are conditions attached to the items listed in the will. This may be something such as a person getting a certain amount of money once he or she graduates college. However, implementing these gifts can be a headache for the will’s executor.
- Monetary Gifts – Money that doesn’t come from a particular source may be willed to be as a “general” gift.
- Personal Effects – Items such as jewelry or designer handbags are considered personal effects and may be willed to one or more people.
- Residual Gifts – This section is commonly left blank, but residual gifts are gifts left over that don’t quite fit into general or specific categories.
Regardless of what gifts are listed, it may be a good idea to have a Sacramento estate planning lawyer at the will reading if things might get complicated.
The Legalities of Reading the Will
Currently, no state legally requires the will to be read to family members or other beneficiaries. This doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be done with the help of a Sacramento estate planning lawyer from Yee Law Group, though. It is still considered good etiquette in most families to read the will. Reading it aloud often avoids hard feelings between beneficiaries and can set the tone for how probate will play out. The executor of the will can gather anyone listed within the will and provide them with copies but should keep in mind that he or she has no legal authority until the will is entered into probate. If everyone cannot meet in person, reading the will over a video conference call is also acceptable.
Legal Assistance Is Available
If your existing estate plan is incomplete or is in need of revision, please connect with the experienced California legal team at Yee Law Group for necessary guidance and support. Similarly, if you have never drafted estate planning documents, it is critically important for you to begin this process. When an estate plan is—in any way—incomplete, it leaves the creator vulnerable in ways that are best avoided.
Few things are more regrettable than an individual not “getting their affairs in order” in ways that properly and enforceable reflect their wishes. This is a preventable circumstance that can lead to unnecessary stress, costs, and a failure to execute an individual’s wishes in the event of their incapacitation or death. Connect with us today to “fill in the gaps” in your estate plan or to begin creating one from scratch. We look forward to speaking with you.
Common Misconceptions About Estate Planning
Estate planning isn’t something that many people look forward to, but it’s a necessary thing to do. Not a lot of people understand what estate planning actually involves. Here are some common myths about estate planning.
I’m Not Wealthy Enough to Need an Estate Plan
Estate planning isn’t just for the very wealthy anymore. Just because you don’t have a high-net worth, doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from an estate plan. If you have any property, you want to make sure that it goes to the right people after you’re gone. Additionally, if you have children, you want to be able to appoint a suitable guardian for them. An estate plan will allow you to do that.
Once You Create an Estate Plan, You Don’t Have to Think About It Again
Some people are under the false impression that estate planning is a once-in-a-lifetime event. The truth is that most individuals have to make changes to their estate plans several times in their lifetime. Whenever you experience a major life change, such as a divorce or birth of a child, you should review your plan with an estate planning lawyer in Sacramento, CA. You want to make sure that your plan reflects your current needs.
I’m Too Young for Estate Planning
When you’re young, you may think that you’re invincible and don’t need an estate plan. However, life can be unpredictable, even if you’re young. If you should die suddenly, you want to make sure that your assets go to the right people. Additionally, if you have children, an estate plan allows you to appoint a proper guardian.
Without an Estate Plan, My Property Will Go to the Government
Even if you don’t have an estate plan in place, it’s unlikely that your property will go to the government after you die. The law determines who will receive your property based on who survives after you’re gone. For instance, if you die with no surviving spouse but two surviving children, your property will be divided evenly between the two. If you die with no surviving relatives, on the other hand, the government will get your property.
It’s Better to Create a Will On My Own
Some people try to create their own estate plans to save money. However, this isn’t a good move. These are complex legal documents, and you can make mistakes. It’s worth it to hire an experienced estate planning lawyer.