A well thought out estate plan can help you pass on your estate to your loved ones with minimal issues. Every individual should create a plan to convey their estate, especially if they want to provide for particular members of their family. An estate plan can also be used to provide some of your favorite organizations and charities with the assets and resources they need to continue operating. If you or a family member needs to create an estate plan, you should speak with an experienced Sacramento estate planning lawyer from NewPoint Law Group for assistance.
NewPoint Law Group has extensive experience in drafting estate plans for our clients in California, including wills, trusts, power of attorney rights, and other legal documents. Our tax law firm can help you identify all your estate planning needs and create an estate plan that meets your unique goals. To schedule a confidential consultation with one of our dedicated lawyers, call us at (800) 358-0305, or contact us online.
Why Do You Need an Estate Plan?
A thorough estate plan can help you accomplish a variety of tasks, in addition to helping you distribute your personal and real property to your named beneficiaries. Many people assume that estate plans should be utilized solely by individuals who are wealthy and possess many assets, but this is not true. An estate plan can benefit you despite whatever your financial status is. A few issues that an estate plan can help you resolve include the following:
- The management of your personal and financial care. There may come a time in your life where an injury or illness causes you to become incapacitated. Estate planning tools like a living will and durable power of attorney can help your family carry out your wishes if you are unable to communicate them.
- Avoiding intestacy laws. If you die without a will or another plan for distributing your assets, your estate will be passed on through intestacy. Intestacy means that you passed away without a will and the state of California will determine how your property is distributed. This can be an issue because intestacy laws may not provide for members of your family who need assistance, like a child with a disability.
- Taking advantage of favorable tax laws. When creating an estate plan, it is important to take advantage of any tax laws that will allow you to pass on more of your estate to your family. For example, staying within the annual monetary limit for gifts can help you avoid paying additional taxes as a result of your generosity.
This is not an exhaustive list of all possible uses for an estate plan. If you wish to know more about creating an estate plan in California, you should speak with an experienced Sacramento estate planning attorney for help.
Types of Wills and Estate Planning Instruments
One of the most common and most useful estate planning instruments is a will. A will is a legal document that a will creator (referred to as a “testator”) can use to convey their estate to beneficiaries named in the document. California recognizes three types of wills:
- Holographic wills. A holographic will is one that is handwritten, dated, and signed by the testator. This type of will does not have to be witnessed or notarized. However, a will that is both typed and handwritten may not qualify as a holographic will.
- Statutory wills. A statutory will is a standardized form that allows a testator to simply fill in the blanks. Statutory wills are usually preferred when the testator wants to pass on a relatively small estate.
- Wills prepared by an attorney. An experienced estate planning lawyr can help you draft a will that meets all your requirements and adheres to California’s laws for drafting a valid will.
Power of Attorney (POA)
A power of attorney (POA) is another invaluable estate planning instrument. A POA is a legal document that allows you to authorize another person, or agent, to act on your behalf. When drafting a POA, you can give broad or limited discretion to the person you authorized as your agent. The agent’s powers will terminate if you become incapacitated, unless you draft a durable power of attorney. A durable POA allows the agent to continue to act on your behalf even if you are incapacitated and unable to make decisions regarding your health or finances.
A trust is another tool that can help you plan your estate. A living trust is a legal document that lets you deposit your assets and other property into an account that will be used for your benefit while you are alive. Once you pass away, the contents of the living trust are conveyed to the beneficiaries of the trust. There are several types of trusts that can be utilized, depending on the estate plan you wish to create.
Work with Sacramento, CA Estate Planning Attorneys
If you have not invested time into planning your estate, you should speak with an experienced Sacramento estate planning attorney to get the process started as soon as possible. At NewPoint Law Group, our attorneys are here to help you create an estate plan that will benefit you and your family’s interests. To schedule a free and confidential legal consultation, call us at (800) 358-0305 or contact us online.