Estate Planning: Is Having a Lawyer Really Necessary?
The estate planning process is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself, your assets and your family members. Making an estate plan should go beyond creating a last will and testament and it is not something you should try to handle on your own or by using DIY forms from the Internet.
Creating a comprehensive estate plan can make a huge difference in whether you are able to maintain your autonomy in case you get sick, and having the right plans in place could allow you to shape your legacy and ensure you are able to pass assets down to heirs or beneficiaries.
Evans Law Firm, Inc. is a trusted estate planning firm that can provide the help and guidance you need. Reach out today to talk with a San Francisco estate planning attorney at our firm to find out about the many ways in which we can assist you with making your estate plan.
Why Do You Need a Lawyer to Help With Your Estate Plan?
There are many reasons why it is important for you to hire a lawyer to help with your estate plan. Some of the key reasons you shouldn’t try to make your plans on your own without legal help include the following:
- Mistakes often aren’t discovered until it is too late: You may feel confident you have done what you need to make plans to protect and provide for your loved ones— but if you made a will that wasn’t valid or chose the wrong type of trust, the problem may not be discovered until you have passed away or become incapacitated. It will be too late to fix the issue and you could lose the chance to determine what should happen to your assets.
- There may be issues to address you don’t know about: While you may assume you have everything under control and have addressed all issues that can arise, there could be important tasks left undone. For example, you may need to make a Medicaid plan to protect your assets by ensuring you can get Medicaid to pay for nursing home care or you may need to make a special type of trust to ensure your non-citizen spouse doesn’t get hit with an estate tax bill. You should talk with an experienced attorney to get personalized advice on what needs to be part of your estate plan.
- You could use the wrong legal tools: There are many tools that could be part of your estate plan, including pay-on-death accounts, a last will and testament, and various types of trusts. If you use the wrong estate planning tools, you may not get expected protections. For example, while a revocable living trust can allow you to transfer assets outside of the probate process, it will not provide protection from estate tax. You don’t want to use the wrong tools and end up with assets being lost or other problems arising with your plans.
If you are ready to make your personalized estate plan, you need to find a compassionate and knowledgeable attorney whom you can trust to help with some of the most personal and important decisions that you will need to make. With decades of experience and a solid reputation throughout the San Francisco and Bay Area, Evans Law Firm, Inc. is the firm to call.
Our firm is a full-service estate planning firm so we can offer all of the advice you need to address end of life issues, legacy planning and more. To find out about how a San Francisco estate planning attorney at our firm can help you, give us a call today.