Whether you are looking for a will, power of attorney, or health care proxy, or require more sophisticated planning involving the use of living trusts, Ventura Attorney Daniel A. Higson is here to advise, plan, and help you realize your personal and financial goals. We also focus on health and quality-of-life issues, and are proud to provide elder law services.
Do I Need a Will?
For almost every adult, the short answer is yes. Even if you have few assets, no spouse, and no children, you still couldbenefit from a will if only for the power to assign your own executor. The executor is responsible for handling your affairsafter you pass on, and without a will, the court chooses one for you. Since anyone with reason can petition to be court-appointed to this position, you probably don’t want to leave it up to them.
If you do have assets, a family, and/or any other complex issues that will arise after you death, you really must have a will.Even if you believe your family could handle things on their own, you don’t want to put the pressure of dividing your estateon them. It’s hard to tell which heirlooms or other properties will spark a debate between family members and cause rifts that could have easily been avoided with a piece of paper.
What Can a Will do for Me?
Ensure the smooth transition of assets, including money, investments, vehicles, heirlooms, real estate, etc. to a varietyof friends and family members.
Provide care for children/dependents.
Give donations to charities of your choice.
Minimize tax liability.
A few items are not normally covered by a will. These include life insurance policy payouts, retirement assets, “transfer-on-death” investment accounts, assets owned as joint tenants, and community property.
If you are confident and require a very simple will, you can create your own. There are a variety of software and online resources available that can explain the process step-by-step. Just remember to make sure you get the finished productinto the hands of your executor or legal advisor to ensure that your will is carried out according to your plan. The will can’tgo into effect if no one knows about it!
If you have a complex financial situation, however, it may be best to hire an attorney to aid you. The legal team at HathawayLaw would love to help you create this important document. We can make sure that it precisely lays out what you want done with your estate. Feel free to ask us any questions you may have concerning wills.
While preparation for retirement or end of life is often difficult to face, discussing issues and making the right decisions with your estate planning lawyer can also be a huge relief. The truth is, many clients often find it difficult to plan their estate. The reasons are many, among them are: the discomfort of discussing death, complications that attend some family structures, and simply, the hectic lives most people lead.
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