When should you start a will, living trust, or other estate planning documents? That is a difficult question because no single answer fits everyone. There are, however, answers that fit most people.
An estate plan is essential to protect your family and the assets for which you have worked hard all your life. Yet, many people procrastinate in getting a plan in place. It is not a pleasant topic to discuss, but you should no longer put off an estate plan.
It is never late to take care of your future as early as today. There are qualified estate planning lawyers in Fresno and surrounding areas to give you the tools to make your family’s future less complicated.
If you have minor children and a spouse, the sooner you begin planning, the better. Your estate plan can be as simple or as complex as you want, but you should always consult with an attorney before finalising the documents.
Your family law lawyers can help you consider your options and ensure that your wishes are met in case of an unexpected event.
What is an Estate Plan?
A good estate plan is a comprehensive plan that addresses your family’s needs. It provides for the care of your children and other loved ones and financial support for them. It also helps you transfer your assets to those you want to benefit from after death.
An estate plan may include:
- A will is a legal document that states how you want your assets distributed after you die. An attorney can prepare a will, but in many cases, it can also be prepared by an individual.
- A living trust is another estate planning tool that can help you avoid probate court. A living trust allows you to transfer assets into the trust while still alive. After your lifetime, the trust becomes active and property not transferred into the trust automatically goes through probate court. The process is similar to a will, except it takes place while you are living.
- Power of attorney is another crucial part of estate planning. It allows someone else to act on your behalf if something happens to you unexpectedly before your estate plan has been executed properly. This is especially important for people who often travel or have medical conditions that keep them from being able to make important decisions for themselves or their family members immediately after an emergency occurs.
How to Choose the Right Lawyer?
Only a qualified attorney can help you create an effective estate plan. Here are some tips to help you find the right lawyer for your estate planning needs:
- Ask for recommendations. Ask friends, neighbours, and colleagues for recommendations. Also, check with members of your community for suggestions on local attorneys.
- Check out their website and read reviews online. If you’re unsure what to look for, look at their website and see if they have a blog where they talk about their experience in estate planning. You can also search for reviews online using Google or Yelp.
- Ask about fees upfront. The cost depends on your estate plan’s complexity and how much time the lawyer needs to spend on it. Estate planning lawyers in Fresno will give you some idea of their fees before you sign up with them.
- Look at credentials. Look for lawyers who are licensed to practice in your state or jurisdiction. Ask about their education and experience.
Estate planning lawyers help you decide how to handle the distribution of your assets. They can also help you determine who should be responsible for managing those assets before you pass away, such as by creating powers of attorney or conservatorships.
When to Create an Estate Plan?
There are many factors to consider when deciding to begin your estate plan. Some people wait until they reach a certain age, while others decide it’s time once they have children. Some of these factors include:
Age. The older you are, the more likely someone will need to administer your estate after you. Estate planning can help ensure that your wishes are executed and that your assets support those you love.
Health status. As you get older, you may be more likely to experience health problems or chronic conditions that could affect your financial situation and ability to manage your affairs. An estate plan can address these concerns by ensuring your wishes are upheld even if you become incapacitated or disabled.
Financial situation. Suppose you’re in good financial shape. But if there’s a possibility that things could change, an estate plan could provide some peace of mind now and in the future.
Why Should I Create an Estate Plan With Estate Planning Lawyers?
The process of creating an estate plan should not be rushed. It’s a big undertaking, and while there are many things you can do yourself, there are also some things that you shouldn’t attempt without the help of a professional.
An estate lawyer can advise you on how to protect your assets, ensure you have the right type of will or trust, and help ensure that your wishes are carried out.
Estate planning is preparing a legal document that expresses your wishes for the distribution of your assets, protects your dependents and heirs, and ensures the continuity of your family business. Estate planning lawyers can help ensure that your wishes are carried out and that your loved ones are protected.
Some of the reasons why you need to create an estate plan include:
- It helps ensure that your wishes are carried out in death or incapacity.
- It provides for the care of minor children and incapacitated adults.
- It allows you to specify what happens to your assets upon death or incapacity.
- It helps prevent lengthy court proceedings or the inability to settle estates.
- Estate planning also helps you determine how to pay for life-saving medical treatment, avoid probate and protect yourself against potential taxes.
- Preserves family relationships by avoiding disputes over inheritance
It’s impossible to put an exact time or age when you should start your estate plan. Factors like your overall financial situation and the details of your financial situation will play a major role in this decision. The best way to determine the right time to create an estate plan is to sit with finance attorneys, discuss your financial situation and goals, and devise an appropriate action plan with an expert.