Your estate is a thing; did you know? It’s a thing that every person has. All of the things you own are considered your estate, including your house, car, jewelry, stocks, and money. The question is, what happens to these things after your death? How will these things be distributed? Estate planning can help answer this question. A comprehensive estate plan, which includes legal documents outlining your wishes, ensures the future of your family after your death.
It can be overwhelming, emotionally charged, and stressful to go through this planning process. The best way to ensure that you make sound decisions about your plan is to speak with an estate planning lawyer in San Diego, although this guide highlights the basic services that estate planning attorneys provide.
Estate Planning Lawyers help people plan their estates.
Putting our wishes around incapacity and death in writing is the job of estate planning attorneys, also called Estate Law attorneys or Probate Attorneys. You will be able to get your goals fulfilled by this attorney by using the proper documents and discussing options.
In addition, a Real estate Lawyer in Brooklyn will have an in-depth understanding of the state and federal laws concerning state and federal taxation upon your death, as well as the probate process in case that occurs.
Why do Estate Planning Attorneys exist?
An estate law attorney’s responsibilities include:
- Making a will or creating a trust.
- Setting up durable powers of attorney and designating beneficiaries.
- Having meetings with close family and friends of individuals involved with an estate.
- Transferring the rightful inheritance and property to the heirs and beneficiaries.
- Reducing the amount of taxes and fees an estate is subject to.
- To ensure that the deceased’s wishes are followed, establishing restrictions on an estate as needed.
- Pensions, life insurance policies, and contributions to charitable organizations are handled.
The first step to becoming an estate attorney is to graduate from law school and earn a Juris Doctor degree. Next, they must take an ethics exam and pass a state bar exam. The state bar exam in California is among the most difficult around. Attorneys then gain practical experience and continuing education by gaining on-the-job training, receiving mentorship, and attending continuing education classes.
The Things An Estate Planning Lawyer Can Do For You
In addition to avoiding the costly and lengthy probate process and reducing taxes owed, you can consult with an estate planning California attorney to do the following:
Identify the beneficiaries of a will
There are Will templates online, but they probably won’t suit your needs. The lives, families, and assets of individuals seldom fit neatly into a mold. Holographic wills can also be made, but getting them right is very specific, and they often lead to legal disputes.
You can ease the process of estate planning by meeting with a knowledgeable attorney in California. Having a Will that clearly outlines all the provisions you need will reduce the possibility of going to court.
You should also consult with an estate planning attorney when allocating assets to beneficiaries. The company is neutral, and they answer any questions you may have and offer advice if necessary.
Help to reduce the length and costs of probate
A will is a legally binding document transferred from a deceased person’s estate to his or her heirs or beneficiaries by the court. It is exceptionally expensive to go through probate, long and public (it can take two years to complete the entire process). A copy of the Will and any legal documents relating to it can be obtained by anyone who wishes to visit the courthouse.
If you do not have trust, probate is not always required. If your estate is completely beneficiary-designated, there is no need for probate. In addition, an affidavit for a small estate can be used to transfer assets from your estate to your legal heirs if the estate contains less than $50,000 of real estate as well as less than $150,000 in total assets. Affidavits are not usually accepted by all entities, requiring your heirs to open probate or to file a lawsuit (something that rarely makes sense with an estate of this size).
If you hire a probate attorney, all your assets will be designated correctly, eliminating the need for probate. The attorney can help you or your loved ones prepare for and navigate the probate process if they have to go through it.
Be well versed in federal and state laws
As probate laws are constantly evolving, there is a chance you might miss an important new rule if you are planning your estate. The California Probate Code is continually changing, and an estate planning attorney will keep up to date on these changes.
Make Sure You Trust Someone with Your Health Wishes
If you desire someone else to make decisions about your health, and estate planning attorney can facilitate that process for you. Frequently, we pick family members for that role, even though a close friend is a better match emotionally. Your attorney can provide you with guidance on who might be the best person for this role.
Don’t let your legacy and family disappear
It is important to have a comprehensive estate plan, including a will, a list of beneficiaries, durable power of attorney (in case you become incapacitated), advance medical directives, and a trust. If you die, your loved ones won’t have to deal with any additional steps after your death because all of this has been planned. It is important to meet with an estate planning attorney to make sure all the details are properly outlined.
When a San Diego estate attorney crafts the correct documents on behalf of your final wishes and funeral arrangements, in addition to family traditions and values, your legacy can be passed on for decades to come.
Updating and Modifying Estate Plans When Needed
Changing estate plans is common. What causes it? Changes in your life – divorce, childbirth, marriage, asset changes, health, or even a move out of state – all call for updating your estate plan.
You don’t have to amend your estate plan when you have a new baby or move across the country. Ideally, after you have a bit of time to spare, you should seek the advice of an estate planning attorney. They can help you update your estate planning documents accordingly.
What Is The Cost Of An Estate Planning Attorney
The experience, location, and complexity of the work of an attorney are all factors you should consider. There are two basic ways to charge for estate planning services:
- Rates for hourly work will vary based on firm size, location, and experience.
- An estate planning attorney will charge a flat fee for all services. A lawyer will usually charge a flat fee since they know how long it takes to prepare your documents. It is then more predictable for everyone.
How are Estate Planning Attorney Fees Calculated?
Each tenth of an hour, or six minutes, is billed.
With a flat fee, you don’t have to worry about your bill fluctuating each month. If there are additional fees associated with court filings, records, etc., make sure you know about them.
What are the factors to consider when picking an estate planning lawyer?
Finding a knowledgeable attorney is essential when you are choosing one. Since they have witnessed the failure of estate plans, lawyers who draft estate plans for clients who have gone through trust litigation tend to draft better wills.
The best estate planning attorneys in California – how can you find them? Using online sources such as The State Bar of California, you can read reviews, get referrals, and interview several law firms. You can get a free consultation from Kam Law Firm today if you’re looking for an estate planning attorney in San Diego.
Families benefit from planning. You, your family, and your legacy can be protected if you create an estate plan.