A Sacramento estate lawyer may be able to assist you in creating plans for your assets and future needs if you should die or become incapacitated. At Yee Law Group, our attorneys work closely with you to understand your desires and goals, regarding the maintenance of your estate and other property. Choosing an estate lawyer in Sacramento whom you trust may help you meet your financial goals and provide for the future of your loved ones. A qualified estate planning attorney may describe various options for your particular situation and ultimately be able to see that your wishes are carried out.
Do You Have To Include All Family Members in Your Estate Plan?
When you create an estate plan with the help of a Sacramento estate lawyer from Yee Law Group, the law gives you a lot of latitude to decide where you want your assets to go and to whom. You do not need to include all your family members if you do not want to, but there are some who have to be included. You may have some very good reasons to disinherit some family members, i.e., not include them in your estate plan. However, you should consider the decision carefully because if you do try to disinherit some family members, they may challenge the validity of your estate plan after your death.
What Family Members Must You Include in Your Estate Plan?
If you have minor children, you have to provide for them following your death because they do not have the legal status to earn their own living. Your responsibility to them does not end with your death. The only exception may be older children under the age of 18 who have been legally emancipated.
The law recognizes that your current spouse has the right to inherit much of your property when you die. Even if you wanted to, you cannot bequeath the house your spouse lives in to someone else, nor can you leave your spouse without any money for his or her inheritance. A Sacramento estate lawyer will not even put any language in your estate plan that disinherits your spouse because the spouse will likely challenge and a judge will almost certainly agree to waive the will on his or her behalf.
Which Family Members Can Be Disinherited?
Apart from your spouse and minor children, you do not owe any family members anything in your estate plan. You are not obliged to leave anything to parents, siblings, or extended relatives. Despite what many people think, you also do not have an obligation to divide your estate equally among your children or to leave them anything at all.
Although you are not required to bequeath family members anything, some may have an expectation of receiving something as an inheritance. In their disappointment, they may challenge the will legally. Therefore, it is a good idea for you to discuss your estate plan with relatives while you are still alive and explain your rationale for making the bequests that you have so that there are no unpleasant surprises later.
If you do decide to disinherit family members, you should use language that is clear but non-inflammatory. Simply leaving out someone’s name may make it look like an unintentional oversight. A Sacramento estate lawyer at Yee Law Group can help you create a plan that holds up.
Benefits of Hiring an Estate Lawyer
Your Estate Plan is Enforceable
The main reason to hire a Sacramento estate lawyer is that there are legal requirements you must meet for your plan to be valid. If you don’t meet these, your project could be deemed unenforceable. That means that your assets could be distributed among your family in a way that is not what you intended. While this seems far-fetched, it happens regularly and is something you don’t want to happen to your family.
Working with the Yee Law Group allows you to ensure your estate plan is valid. Your lawyer will identify any legislation that could affect your project and figure out how to address the situation. In the end, they will also ensure that your plan follows any necessary laws and validates the document. That gives you peace of mind knowing your project will be carried out as intended, so you can spend the rest of your life enjoying your family, not worrying about their future.
Your Estate Plan is Personalized
When you try to write this yourself off an online form, you are working with a generic plan. While this works for some people, not everyone can fit their project into this document. In addition, these documents generally don’t offer flexibility, and they can’t handle complex situations. They may also not be suitable for individuals with large amounts of assets. The result is that many people believe they can’t develop a complicated estate plan.
Fortunately, hiring a Sacramento estate lawyer can allow you to personalize your estate plan. Instead of relying on a form, they can create an estate plan as complex as necessary to meet your needs. That means they can create something that gives you the outcomes you want. It also means you can expect this legal document to be upheld, so you know that your complex plan will be carried out as intended. Again, this is a significant boost in your peace of mind.
You Develop a Relationship With Your Lawyer
Another significant benefit of hiring Yee Law Group is that you can form a relationship with your lawyer, so you have someone who knows what you want until the day you die. In addition, your lawyer will review your plan, suggest changes, monitor legislative changes that affect your project and update your document as your needs change. These features of developing and maintaining a relationship with your lawyer can help protect your family’s assets after you’re gone.
3 Important People to Include in Your Estate Plan
Planning your estate with the help of a Sacramento estate lawyer is essential to ensure that your wishes are followed after your death. To make sure that your decisions are honored, you will need to assign several key roles.
Your executor will be legally responsible for handling your assets and liabilities and carrying out the instructions in your will. This can be a difficult job, so you will need to choose someone with strong organizational skills and make sure the person understands what is involved.
Because the executor is responsible for every aspect of your estate, you should consider your choice carefully and choose a person you trust. If the relationship changes and you are no longer confident in your choice, be sure to contact a Sacramento estate lawyer and change your executor. You should also appoint an alternative executor to take on the role in case your original executor is unable to do it.
2. Legal Guardian
If you have children under the age of 18, you will need to name a legal guardian for them. It is important to discuss the possibility beforehand to ensure that the prospective guardian is qualified and prepared to take on the responsibility.
Adult dependents should also be considered in your estate planning. If you have an adult family member with a disability who depends on you for care and support, you will need to make provisions for care after you are gone. Yee Law Group can connect you with a Sacramento estate lawyer who can help you appoint a legal guardian and help you set up a trust to support your dependents.
3. Power of Attorney
What if you are still living but incapacitated? Preparing for this scenario is an important aspect of estate planning. Ask your Sacramento estate lawyer about appointing a power of attorney. A power of attorney is a person authorized to make decisions on your behalf.
There are different types of power of attorney; for example, a financial power of attorney is authorized to make decisions about your money and business, while a medical power of attorney can make decisions about your health care. You may choose to appoint different people to make different kinds of decisions.
Planning your estate involves many different choices, and perhaps the most important one is deciding which friends and family members you trust most to follow through with your wishes. The attorneys at Yee Law Group can help you understand the different responsibilities involved and how to select the right people.
Steps to Create an Estate Plan
Estate planning, in its simplest form, involves creating a plan in advance and naming which individuals should receive your assets after you’re gone. Your estate is comprised of everything you own. An estate plan allows you to control how your assets are distributed to the people or organizations you care about. A Sacramento estate lawyer from Yee Law Group may help you pay the least amount in taxes, legal fees, and court costs. The following steps are key components when developing an estate plan:
1. Creating an Inventory. Begin by creating a list of everything you own. This would include:
- Physical Assets: Your home, real estate, cars, jewelry, artwork, etc.
- Gather statements from your bank, brokerage, and retirement accounts.
- Create a list of all insurance policies you have.
- List all of your liabilities, such as mortgages, line of credit, and other forms of debt.
2. Develop a Contingency Plan. A Sacramento estate lawyer would be able to help you create a contingency plan that would settle your affairs if you or your spouse pass away suddenly or become incapacitated. The plan can determine what happens to your property and assets, and if incapacitated, who will manage the financial affairs.
3. Providing for Your Children. A primary goal for establishing an estate plan is to protect and provide for loved ones and their future. If you have children under the age of 18, be sure to include the name of a guardian who would be fit to care for your children in an emergency.
4. Protecting Your Assets. This step involves minimizing expenses and covering estate taxes while meeting your estate planning goals. Specific plans may take place in situations where you wish to transfer or dispose of family-owned businesses, real estate or investment property, or stock in a closely held business. A Sacramento estate lawyer from Yee Law Group may help to develop a plan that is specific to your situation.
5. Documentation. When creating an estate plan, writing a will and having legal documentation can help ensure that your wishes are met. If you want to give certain people certain assets then it should be named specifically in your will. Having the proper legal documentation completed will provide a peace of mind and reduce the emotional and financial stress on your loved ones once you’ve passed.
Peace of Mind
Knowing that you have set in place a proper plan to protect your assets and provide for your loved ones can provide peace of mind for yourself and your family. Choose a Sacramento estate lawyer that has your best interest at heart and contact Yee Law Group at (916) 927-9001.
“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!”