Experienced and Respectful Lawyers Ready to Exceed Your Estate Planning Needs
Preparing yourself and your family for your passing can be a stressful and sensitive ordeal. Unfortunately, if this is not done properly, then the state may take control of your assets and distribute them in a manner that runs contrary to your wishes. Our firm has extensive experience in family law and estate planning. We can give you a consultation, help you review your estate, help you designate representatives to act on your behalf, and help you either avoid probate or use probate to your advantage. Our firm will gladly assist you take care of your family and your estate.
Estate planning will provide for your surviving family; your property will be bequeathed to your spouse and family, or a guardian of your choice will be appointed should you and your spouse become deceased. Estate planning eliminates ambiguity as your assets will be specifically designated to targeted recipients. Planning an estate will allow you to plan for taxes and other fees associated with the transfer of property and belongings. You can plan your funeral arrangements and fund them when planning your estate. If you have a preferred charity or organization, estate planning will permit you to leave a portion of your assets to them. You can use estate planning to establish medical directives in case of an incapacitating injury or illness.
A will allows you to designate an individual or group to be the executor of your estate; this person or group will tend to unresolved debts and the distribution of your assets to your beneficiaries. When a legal, written will does not exist, the state will determine who gets your assets, and the state’s decisions may not be in line with your wishes. A legal will also allows you to establish legal guardianship over your children under the age of 18. Wills are especially important in community property (I.e. California, Nevada), where a married couple’s property is considered “community property”; the absence of a will could lead to the state intervening to determine what becomes of your assets. And wills are easy to change either by attaching codicils or by writing a new will.
Trying to avoid or circumvent probate is not always the best option. One of probate’s best benefits is that it is relatively straightforward and unambiguous. In addition, probate can reduce the amount of time that collectors can charge your estate by establishing a statute of limitations for your outstanding debts. Probate honors a will’s designation of guardians for children unless a challenger can prove the unsuitability of the guardian. Probate also honors pour-over wills, where assets and property that are not specifically stated in the will are automatically designated to your estate’s official representative.
Allow Our Firm to Provide You a Consultation
If you pass away without some legal plan for your estate, then the state will determine what happens to your assets and your underage children. To prevent this from happening, you should take time to consult both our firm and your beneficiaries to generate a plan and set it to legal documentation. Our firm can ensure that your assets are channeled to the correct recipients and that any underaged children that you have will be raised by a trusted guardian that you choose. The more time and effort that we spend on your estate planning, the less likely that external forces, like the state or a legal challenger can act against your wishes. Call our office today for a consultation. We look forward to helping you and your family.