Probate Lawyer in Yolo County, CA
A probate lawyer for Yolo County, CA can assist you through the process of probate when a loved one passes away. A probate lawyer is also known as an estate attorney and is responsible for assisting a personal representative of an estate through the process of probate. Probate matters are governed by local laws of where the decedent resided upon their death, so it’s very important to consult experienced local lawyers in probate matters. Yee Law Group lawyers are involved in every step of the probate process to ensure that your loved one’s personal assets and property are distributed according to their wishes.
5 Things to Ask When Choosing a Fiduciary
Choosing a Fiduciary
A fiduciary is a person who has a legal or ethical relationship with you. Generally speaking, a fiduciary is concerned with your assets in some fashion, such as an estate-planning attorney or financial advisor. A fiduciary acts on your behalf and should put your interests above his or her own. A true fiduciary is legally and ethically bound to act in your best interest. Based on over 40 years of combined experience at Yee Law Group, here are five questions you should ask a fiduciary before signing a contract.
What Is Your Background?
Look for a fiduciary with advanced degrees in law, business, or finance. Ideally, your fiduciary should have years of experience beyond insurance or as a broker. Look for a person who has worked as an investment analyst or a trader with a major financial business, or a probate lawyer in Yolo County, California.
Who Pays Your Fees?
A fiduciary generally receive the majority of fees from the clients instead of getting commissions from insurance products or securities. You should always understand your fiduciary’s compensation model because it will tell you a lot about their transparency and how they operate. For a fiduciary to act in your best interest, you should be the one paying for their time.
Who Actually Manages My Assets?
Are you hiring an investment advisor who is a middleman between you and another analyst or is the fiduciary actually managing your assets? True fiduciaries keep your funds and conduct transactions on your behalf as they see fit. Your fiduciary should be the one managing your assets, not a third party.
Are You Legally Bound to Act in My Best Interest?
If the person you’re talking to answers anything but “yes,” you are not dealing with a fiduciary. Get this in writing because it is a legal principle that protects you. Don’t let the advisor talk around this question. A true fiduciary always acts in your best interest. You are in charge of your money, but a fiduciary would try to talk you out of an investment that he or she believes would be bad for your financial future. An advisor without fiduciary duty would be legally bound to carry out your orders, regardless of how wise or foolish they may feel.
What Is Your Track Record?
Not only should you get client references, but you should also get a performance record and other forms that can tell you how your fiduciary is managing other people’s assets. You can also check for complaints with the SEC or FINRA’s Broker Check.
Choosing the wrong person as a fiduciary can make a big difference in your future. If you would like to learn more about the role of a fiduciary and whether you need one, consider contacting a Yolo County, CA probate lawyer from Yee Law Group.
Listen to Attorney Mike Yee Discuss the Main Reasons Why People Delay Their Estate Plan:
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Common Myths About Probate
Probate has received a pretty bad reputation throughout the years. However, before you form your own opinion on it, consider learning the facts. Here are some common myths about the process a probate lawyer for Yolo County, CA doesn’t want you to believe.
- The probate process often lasts years. One of the most common reasons people are put off by the probate process is because they assume it lasts years. Although resolving an estate does take time, it usually does not take years. The decedent’s creditors just need time to file claims if necessary. In most cases, the probate process won’t take longer than one year to complete. However, if there are complexities, such as family disputes or a very large estate, the process can take longer.
- Probate is very expensive. Another common myth about probate is that it will eat up all the assets in the estate. The truth is, however, that probate costs just a tiny percentage of the value of the estate. Therefore, you do not have to worry about the fees taking all your family members’ inheritances.
- A will can help your estate avoid probate. A will allows you to designate who will receive your property when you are gone and state your final wishes. However, it won’t help avoid the probate process.
- If you don’t create a will, your property will go to the state. Although i i’s very important to establish a will, not having one does not mean all your assets will become government property. If you do not have a will, the state will generally leave your property to your surviving spouse. If you don’t have a surviving spouse, the property will be passed on to your children. If you have no family members left, however, yoru property would go to the state.
- Any lawyer can help you with probate. Some people believe that they can use just any lawyer to help them through the probate process. This just isn’t true. It is important to hire an experienced probate lawyer for Yolo County, CA to assist you. Probate can be a complex process, so you want someone knowledgeable and experienced on your side. A lawyer who specializes in probate will know all the laws in your state about probate and help you get through the process faster.
Simple Ways to Avoid Probate
Probate is a legal process that can be avoided, yet many people don’t take steps to do so when writing up their estate plan. What works for your situation may differ from another’s, so consulting with a seasoned lawyer will be beneficial. Probate is the means by which assets are legally passed to a beneficiary from the deceased’s estate. Probate can be a long and grueling process for loved ones, so doing what you can now to prevent probate from happening is imperative. Consider these simple ways that you can avoid probate:
Write a Revocable Living Trust
Creating a revocable living trust is one method in avoiding probate. This allows for private administration of your wishes, outside of the court system, with no statutory fees. But, for a revocable living trust to work, assets in the trust have to be retitled before the individual passes away. This may be one of the most important aspects of an estate plan, as it also sets up what to do in the event of incapacity and death.
Make Accounts Payable Upon Passing
Your bank accounts can be set up so that they are payable upon your death, and are transferred directly to your beneficiary without having to go through probate. Depending on the state, transfers of real estate may also be allowed.
Own Joint Property
If you choose your spouse or another trusted loved one to become joint owner of your property, it provides an easier facilitation in distributing assets without probate. Examples of ways to hold such assets are through joint tenancy with ownership rights, community property with survivorship rights, and tenancy by entirety.
Give Away Some Assets Now
You may be able to simplify things down the line if you distribute some of your assets now. Instead of leaving assets to cherished family members and friends after passing, you can give them the items in the near future. This reduces the amount that your estate goes through probate, which can reduce future state and federal estate taxes too!
For further insight in how to avoid probate, consider speaking with a legal professional, such as a probate lawyer from Yee Law Group today.
Why Do I Want To Avoid Probate?
Probate is a legal process that remains somewhat of a mystery to many people. Perhaps you have heard about it before in conversation with someone else or while browsing online, but now want to know about how it could affect you. If you are wondering why you should want to avoid probate happening to your assets after your eventual passing, consider the information below:
Probate is a procedure administered and overseen by the court. Documentation will need to be filed, and other actions may necessitate court supervision. Because of this, transferring property to heirs can be a long process that often lasts between six months and two years. Within this time frame, property may not be sold, and heirs may have minimal access to the estate until the court says so.
Because paperwork related to property transfer has to be filed with the court, information is viewable by the public. That means that in most situations, the deceased person’s assets and beneficiaries are subject to public disclosure. If you would prefer to keep the handling of your assets private and without court control, then taking action to avoid probate now is recommended.
Lack of Control
A judge that you and your beneficiaries have never met will be ultimately making the decisions about how your assets will be distributed. Unfortunately, most judges aren’t going to take into consideration what your wishes would have been, since they aren’t written out. As you can imagine, a legal beneficiary may look great on paper but is someone you would have not given assets to. But if it’s the law, then the judge will distribute assets to that person accordingly.
To get help from a legal professional about how you can avoid probate, consider speaking with a probate lawyer from Yee Law Group as soon as possible.
Advantages of Hiring a Probate Lawyer
Probate is long known for being a complicated process. That is why many people dread to go through it. Instead of trying to handle the process on your own, consider hiring legal assistance. Here are a few advantages of working with a probate lawyer for Yolo County, CA.
- Speed up the probate process. Probate can sometimes take a long time to complete. In fact, if the necessary parties are not given proper notice or signatures from heirs aren’t received promptly, the process can last well over a year. On the other hand, if you have an experienced probate lawyer on your side, the process can be completed much faster. Your lawyer will make sure all the necessary documents are filed by deadline and prevent you from making costly mistakes.
- Prevent personal liability. As an executor of an estate, you want to minimize your liabilities as much as possible. A probate lawyer can help you do just that. He or she can prevent you from paying creditors and heirs in the wrong order, failing to give notice to the proper people and other mistakes that could make you held liable.
- Reduce disputes. One of the last things you want is for heirs to challenge the estate plan in court. It can prolong the process and put more stress on everyone involved. That is another good reason to hire a probate lawyer. He or she will make sure that the estate is handled in an effective and professional manner, minimizing disputes.
- Give you time for family and friends. Probating an estate can be very stressful and time-consuming. The tasks just seem endless. They can take time away from your family and friends when you need them the most during this difficult time. However, if you hire a probate lawyer, he or she will handle all the legwork for you. Therefore, you can spend more time with your loved ones and grieve properly.
- No upfront fees. Some people avoid hiring probate lawyers because they do not think they can budget for the legal fees. After all, legal fees are not exactly cheap. However, it is important to keep in mind that probate lawyers don’t require upfront fees. After the probate process is finalized, your lawyer will be paid from proceeds of the estate.