Estate Planning Lawyer in Fresno Helping You Protect Your Heard-Earned Assets
Most of us want to be sure our loved ones are taken care of after we are gone. Without an estate plan, it is possible that all of the hard work you have done to provide for your family will be for nothing, as they could lose some or all of the benefits you were hoping to pass on to them. A careful estate plan can ensure that your loved ones are taken care of if you die or are disabled and that your wishes are followed.
The steps in making a thorough estate plan often go beyond writing a simple will, and drafting documents that will hold up in a court of law years from now takes skill and specific knowledge of the law. An experienced estate planning attorney from Bains Law Offices can help you to establish an estate plan that meets all legal requirements and puts your assets where you want them to go, protecting your family and all that you have worked so hard to earn. Call our Fresno office today at 559-890-1007.
Do I Need an Estate Plan if I’m not Wealthy?
While we tend to think of an “estate” as a mansion surrounded by acres of valuable land, the term “estate” simply refers to everything you own, from bank accounts and retirement plans to real estate and personal items. What happens to these assets after you die or become incapacitated needs to be specified in a way that is clear and legally enforceable so that you can be sure that your wishes are carried out. If you want to be sure that your loved ones are completely clear about how you want things to go once you are no longer able to tell them, an estate plan is the best way to go.
Isn’t a Will All I Need?
While a will is an important part of an estate plan that sets out your wishes for the distribution of your assets if you pass away, there are other important documents that are part of an estate plan. Nobody likes to think about being incapacitated and unable to speak for themselves, but things do happen, and it is important to have documents in place that will take care of you and your loved ones if you are unable to. A Power of Attorney, for example, can give someone you designate the ability to make legal decisions for you if you are unable. A Medical Power of Attorney will give the person you choose the ability to direct your medical care if you cannot do so yourself, and an Advance Health Directive will lay out your wishes concerning your medical care if you are unable to make them known at the time.
What Happens if I Die Without a Will in California?
Like most states, California has specific guidelines for what happens if a person dies without a will. There is a list of people your assets will go to if you do not have a will specifying to whom you would like to leave your money and property. In most cases the list begins with a surviving spouse and goes next to children, then grandchildren, followed by siblings and parents. More distant relatives only inherit if there is no surviving spouse or child.
The succession is complicated, however, by the fact that in California, some of your assets are considered community property (shared equally with your spouse or domestic partner if you have one), and other assets are considered separate property. The inheritance chains for these two types of property are different and the entire process is complicated. Making sure that you have a sound will that will hold up in court can spare your loved ones a boatload of time and expense trying to sort out your assets. Call Bains Law Offices today to get the help of a seasoned estate planning lawyer and ensure that your wishes are known and your loved ones are provided for. 559-890-1007
How Can an Estate Planning Lawyer Help?
It is nearly impossible to know all of the ins and outs of estate planning without education and experience in the laws surrounding inheritance, asset protection, and decision-making in the event of incapacitation or death. While we would all like to stick around forever, the time will come when we need the legal protections of a solid estate plan to make sure that our loved ones are cared for and our wishes are honored. Hiring a skilled estate planning lawyer from Bains Law Offices can save your loved ones time, money, and heartache and give you peace of mind knowing that everything is in place to carry out your wishes.