Far too many people procrastinate when it comes to estate planning because they think that it can be quickly taken care of in the future. This mentality has always existed, but it has become more widespread now that you can buy boilerplate legal documents on the Internet.
The idea is that you simply download a will worksheet, you fill in the blanks, and the matter is closed. After that, everything will take care of itself.
In reality, this is a very shortsighted approach, and it can yield negative consequences. The errors can certainly impact your family, but certain mistakes can also impact you.
On the other hand, if you consult with an estate planning attorney, you can act in a fully informed manner. Let’s look at a few of the ways that legal counsel can be beneficial.
Choosing the Right Asset Transfer Methods
A simple will is not always the best choice when it comes to an asset transfer device. Generally speaking, you would be allowing for lump sum inheritances. This may be less than ideal for various different reasons, but a lot of people simply accept the limitation.
There is no reason to twist yourself like a pretzel to fit into some constrictive structure when there are other options available to you. There are so many different scenarios that can exist, we won’t try to explain them here.
Suffice to say that there are many tools in the estate planning toolkit, and there is a strategy that can be implemented to address any situation.
If you use a will to state your final wishes, the executor would be the estate administrator. There are those that assume that the executor can follow the instructions in the will and act independently. The assets are quickly distributed to the heirs, and that’s the end of the story.
This is another misconception, because the probate court would actually supervise the estate administration process. They would examine the will to determine its validity, and there are certain steps that must be taken to execute a valid will in California.
Aside from the will itself, there are other legal requirements that enter the picture when the estate is actually being administered. In the same vein, there are legal guidelines that must be adhered to during the trust administration process.
As a layperson, there is no reason why you would understand the legal requirements, and the same can be said for someone that you know personally that you name as an executor or trustee. On the other hand, an estate planning lawyer would have a thorough understanding of these rules and regulations.
Estate Administration Assistance
To follow up on the estate administration process, an executor or trustee that is not professional may be completely trustworthy, but they probably won’t know how to proceed. When you work with an attorney to establish your original estate plan, you can address this part of the equation.
You could ask your attorney to assist your administrator when it becomes necessary, and you can give the contact information to the person in question. In this manner, the executor or trustee will have all the help that they need to administer your estate in an effective and efficient manner.
Attend a Free Webinar!
We are offering some great opportunities in the near future if you want to build on your estate planning knowledge. Our attorneys have traditionally conducted in-person seminars, but we have converted to webinars as a response to the novel coronavirus.
The idea has been very well received, because this is actually more convenient, and no one has to take any risks. Though there is no charge, we ask that you register in advance so we can save your spot.
You can see the schedule if you visit our webinar page, and you can follow the simple instructions to register for the session that you would like to attend.