Wills and Trusts Lawyer
Creating a plan for your future and the future of your loved ones can be outlined through the assistance of a wills and trusts lawyer Sacramento CA residents rely on. 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.
Differences Between a Will and a Trust
A knowledgeable wills and trusts lawyer may explain that wills and trusts are both beneficial and important aspects when creating an estate plan.
Sometimes referred to as the “last will and testament,” a will is a document that states your final wishes. After your death, a county court makes sure that your final wishes are carried out. A wills and trusts lawyer in Sacramento CA may state that the benefits typically include:
- Leaving names of beneficiaries for property (same as a trust)
- Revise the document if needed any time before their death (same as a trust)
- Name guardians for children
- Name property managers for children’s property
- Name an executor
- Instruct how taxes and debts should be paid
- Is rather simple to create
- Requires witnesses
A living trust is created during your lifetime and allows you to maintain complete control over the assets placed into the trust. As a wills and trusts lawyer may explain, one of the main benefits of creating a trust is that your estate could avoid probate after you pass on. Probate is the legal process for passing along your assets and it occurs after your death. It often involves a court reviewing the validity of the estate planning documents, and certain debts are paid from the estate before it is distributed to beneficiaries.
Other benefits of a trust may include:
- Leaving names of beneficiaries for property (same as a will)
- Leave property to young children
- Revise your document (same as a will)
- Keep privacy after death
- Requires a notary public
- Requires transfer of property
- Protection from court challenges
- Avoid conservatorship
Choosing What’s Best for You
A wills and trusts lawyer Sacramento CA provides may be able to give you guidance when you decide to create a trust, a will. or both. If you are considering a trust, there are some different aspects that should be examined to ensure you are making the correct choice. It is highly recommended you talk with a Sacramento wills and trusts lawyer to help you decide.
Opening a trust can be a useful estate planning tool however, it can be expensive. Here are a couple questions to consider when deciding if a trust is beneficial for you:
- Do you have a net worth of at least $100,000?
- Do you have a substantial amount of assets in real estate?
- Do you have specific instructions on how and when your estate will be distributed?
- Are you trying to minimize estate taxes or protecting your estate from lawsuits and creditors?
Even if creating a trust would be ideal for your situation, it may still be beneficial to create a will. This provides a solid backup, allows you to name guardians for children under 18, and can create a catch-all beneficiary for any property you didn’t specifically leave to a certain heir.
Importance of Estate Planning
The following situation occurs more often than you think:
A couple live together for years but are not legally married. Over the years together, this couple has purchased property and save a substantial amount of money. One of them has no children and has no close relatives — just distant ones with whom they barely speak. The individual created a do-it-yourself will in which they leave all of their assets to their partner. They pass away and the will is probated. The court declares the will is invalid because of some statutory requirement that is missing. Now, instead of the partner receiving the assets, state law says the distant relatives will receive them instead.
Sadly, many do-it-yourself wills are declared invalid because they lack critical legal components that are required by the state. This is why it is so important to have a wills and trusts lawyer in Sacramento, CA draft your will and other estate planning documents.
Some of the more common reasons why a will be declared invalid include:
· The decedent was not 18 years of age or older when they wrote the will.
· The decedent did not have the required mental capacity when they wrote the will. They must have had a strong understanding of what their estate was actually comprised of and how they were actually declared it was to be distributed.
· The decedent did not sign the will.
· There were not two witnesses to the decedent’s signature when they signed the will or one or both of the witnesses were also named as beneficiaries in the will.
Any will that is not executed under the laws of the state where the decedent resided can be challenged when it is filed in court for the probate process. If it is found invalid, anything else in the will also becomes invalid. The court then continues the probate process as if the individual had died without a will, and it divides their assets in accordance with Sacramento, CA laws.
This could mean that anyone you had named as beneficiary will not receive anything and anyone you did not want to benefit from your estate could indeed benefit, just like the scenario described above.
Contact Yee Law Group Today
In order to avoid issues with your will, avoid the online, do-it-yourself options. You may think you are saving money by doing so but, in the end, that decision could have devastating financial consequences for your loved ones.
At Yee Law Group, we work with our clients to ensure that their last wishes are stipulated exactly as they want them. We can also go over some of the other estate planning options you may be interested in, such as revocable living trusts, special needs trusts, pet trusts, and charitable trusts, so your beneficiaries can avoid probate completely.
If you are seeking further advice, contact a wills and trusts lawyer Sacramento CA residents depend on from Yee Law Group today.