Estate Planning: Frequently Asked Questions And Answers
Most people who have gone through the estate planning process have been surprised to learn that it is faster and easier than they were expecting. If you’re still unsure about getting started, however, it may be helpful to read through answers to some of the most common questions our attorneys receive about estate planning. After perusing this page, feel free to contact us with your own questions.
Do I need an estate plan? Won’t my assets just go to my family when I die?
Everyone can benefit from an estate plan, even if you don’t think you have many assets. If you die without a will, your property will be distributed according to California’s intestacy laws. These laws tend to prioritize immediate family as heirs, but they don’t allow for any customization of who gets what. You deserve to decide what happens to the hard-earned wealth you’ve accumulated throughout your lifetime.
Plus, as we’ll discuss further down on this page, an estate plan covers more than just the transfer of assets.
What is the benefit of hiring an attorney if free forms are available online?
Your estate plan specifies everything from transfer of property and assets to funeral and burial instructions to late-life medical care. You won’t be around to clarify any ambiguities or settle any disputes between heirs. Therefore, your documents need to be as clear and unambiguous as possible.
Moreover, your estate plan should be highly customized to you and your wishes. You cannot get that kind of specificity or customization from a templated form. Using free forms could increase the risk that your wishes are not honored or that your heirs get into a legal dispute about the estate.
What should an estate plan contain?
An estate plan is more than just a will. It is a whole set of legal instruments that work together. You can visit our wills and trusts page to learn about those two important tools. We also have a page specifically about what you might want to include in your estate plan.
Do I need to name an executor? Who should I choose?
You will need to name an estate executor in your will. This will be someone you trust to oversee the settling of your estate and the carrying out of your final wishes and instructions. Your chosen executor should be responsible, honest, organized and able to follow instructions.
What Questions Do You Have For Us?
Our attorneys at Tuttle & McCloskey, PC, can help you create a fully customized estate plan that will serve you and your loved ones well. To ask more questions about the process or get started on your planning, call us at 559-500-3393 or send us an email.