When most people think of estate planning, they assume it’s immediately out of their price range. However, no matter how meager your savings might be, you’re already halfway to estate planning and you didn’t even know it. As an estate planning lawyer from a firm like Yee Law Group, P.C. can explain, everyone acquires assets throughout their lifetime – whether it’s money in the bank, a collection of cars, or a stock portfolio.
Everyone acquires assets, and (unfortunately) everyone dies eventually. Estate planning isn’t always the most cheerful subject, but instead of pondering your own mortality, you can think of it like securing a good future for your family and friends. If you want to make life a little easier for the people you care about – and the people who care about you – you should look into estate planning.
What Happens if I Don’t Leave Behind a Will?
You might have heard of probate, and all the drama and challenges that comes with following the instructions of a will and dividing an estate after someone’s death. Despite the difficulties of probate, it’s much harder for your family and friends if you don’t leave behind a will at all.
When you die and don’t leave behind a will, it’s actually up to the state to decide who gets what. The court will appoint a representative to handle your estate, and that representative will hand out your assets as he or she thinks is appropriate. Oftentimes, this means whoever has the best lawyer will end up getting the most of your estate. Do you have any family members you’ve been avoiding? They’ll come out of the woodwork to get a part of your estate, even if you barely know them.
Additionally, when you die without leaving behind a will, you’re setting the family and friends who did care for you up for unnecessary stress and painful legal challenges. They’ll be trying to process your death, and in the middle of all their grief they’ll be forced to battle over what you wanted them to have. It’s always better to leave behind a will, no matter how difficult the probate process can be.
What Can an Estate Planning Lawyer Do for Me?
An estate planning lawyer can make your passing much easier for your family and friends. When you get in touch with a qualified attorney, you can work together to create a bulletproof will that provides your loved ones with all the instructions they’ll need upon your death. They can also walk you through the process of creating a living trust if you’re worried about probate.
Most people think estate planning is only wills and trusts, but an estate planning lawyer can also help you establish guardianship for your dependents. If you have children, elderly parents, or disabled relatives that you care for, you’ll want them to be looked after when you’re no longer around. You can name a trusted person as a guardian in your will to handle responsibilities of care.
Your estate planning lawyer can also help you establish powers of attorney, should you ever become incapacitated. If your family has a history of mental illness, Alzheimer’s, or dementia, you should be proactive in ensuring your affairs are managed responsibly in your later years. This usually means granting a trusted individual the legal authority to act in your name. This is called power of attorney, and it’s important for peace of mind.
An estate planning lawyer can provide all the details you need about wills, trusts, and much more. Reach out to an estate planning lawyer today to get started.