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Things an Estate Planning Attorney Can Help You With

Are you looking for a Pleasanton estate planning attorney? The process of creating an estate plan can be complicated, with essential details that are easy to overlook. Laws are constantly evolving, too, so it’s hard to know what you need to do first, or who should handle your affairs if you don’t have a law degree. The good news is that there are estate planning lawyers who specialize in this particular area of law. Here are some pointers from a local estate planning attorney to help you sort out the benefits of hiring an expert.

Hiring a Pleasanton Estate Planning Attorney

A skilled attorney can help make sure your final wishes are carried out according to your estate planning documents. They will help you create a plan for things like the distribution of assets, the management of trusts, setting up a power of attorney, incapacity directive, or other health care guidelines. Estate planning attorneys also work to prevent family conflicts by providing guidance on a wide range of sensitive topics.

Planning ahead for the future is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself as well as your loved ones, and it’s never too early to start. If you’re not sure where to begin, or if your situation is more complex than average, it’s best to talk to a local estate planning attorney. For example, if you’re managing the property of someone who has passed away, then they can assist you with all the legal paperwork. They may also examine your will or trusts to make sure that everything is set up properly, so no mistakes are made on important legal documents. A lawyer will work with you on all aspects of your plan, step by step. This also includes things like naming beneficiaries, managing properties, and determining who cares for minor children or pets.

Here’s a list of some typical things an estate planning attorney can help you sort out:

  • Create or update a will
  • Set up a trust
  • Help designate an executor
  • Arrange the transfer of assets to your beneficiaries
  • Represent you during probate proceedings
  • Help you dispute a will
  • Guide you through closing an estate
  • Oversee a trust
  • Ensure your health wishes are carried out

Talk to a Pleasanton Estate Planning Attorney

There’s never been a better time than now to choose professional help for your estate planning needs. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you with many things. At Lewman Law, we understand that planning ahead to protect your loved ones and yourself can be difficult, but it’s important if you want them to have the resources they need in case something happens. For more information on how we can help ensure your family is left in the best circumstances possible after you’re gone, contact us today by calling (925) 447-1250.

Filed under Estate Planning Tips

One Thing You Should Never Put in Your Will

When making a will, an estate planning attorney will tell you that it’s important to keep in mind one thing that generally doesn’t belong. Did you know that your funeral plans shouldn’t be written into your will?

It’s never too early to get your affairs in order, even if you’re young and healthy. In fact, it’s important to plan ahead for the future before it’s ever crucial, so let’s explore why your will is not the best place to leave a burial plan.

Funeral Plans

Although this is sometimes done, there are a couple reasons why your will is not the best place to leave instructions for your funeral. Ultimately, this is because settling an estate tends to come later, after the funeral is already over, which means it’s possible your loved ones might completely overlook your wishes until it’s too late.

The best way to ensure you get what you want at your burial is to create a separate document with clear instructions regarding how you would like things done. This is something that an estate planning attorney can help you with. It’s called a “Final Arrangements” document. So, if you have specific requests, like who should speak, where the service should be held, or if you prefer to be cremated, this is the place to include those final wishes.

Creating a Final Arrangements Document

Maybe you’ve never considered the type of funeral you would like to have, but without a plan, your loved ones are left to make decisions that might not be aligned with your final wishes. When it comes to funeral plans, it’s important to take some time to think about what matters to you. These may be things like the type of flowers you want on your coffin, whether or not you would like a eulogy given at your burial, or the songs you would like played during the service.

Estate planning is a necessary and important process. The last thing you want to happen is for your loved ones to be left with the difficult task of trying to figure out what’s best for you at the end of your life. An estate planning attorney can help guide you through this decision-making process while you’re still healthy, as well as offer advice on complex legal aspects, such as wills, trusts, and other tools that will be needed in order to protect yourself and those you care about.

Talk to an Estate Planning Attorney

When it comes to your family, you can’t afford not to have an estate plan. If you’re thinking about your future, an experienced estate planning attorney can help you create legally-sound documents. Get started today by contacting Lewman Law at (925) 447-1250. We’re here to help.

Filed under Estate Planning Tips

What Should be Included in Your Will?

We all know that we should have a will even if we’re still considered relatively young, but what should be included in it? Here are some tips from a Brentwood will attorney to help you begin planning one of the most important documents you’ll ever create. 

Tips from a Brentwood Will Attorney…

1) Name Your Beneficiaries

First, your will is the place to name your beneficiaries. This is what people generally think of when it comes to estate planning. A will answers questions regarding who will inherit your belongings after you’re gone. It’s also important to keep this information up to date as your family grows or changes. People re-marry or have children, and deaths happen too. When changes like these arise, be sure to discuss them with your Brentwood will attorney to make sure your estate plan is current and legally sound. 

2) Outline Debts and Assets

You will also need to spend some time outlining your debts and assets. A big part of estate planning is simply getting organized. Take stock of your significant assets. You can list them out so you don’t forget anything when  you meet with your Brentwood will attorney. It’s also a good idea to name a contingent beneficiary when reviewing your assets. For example, who gets the grand piano if your beneficiary doesn’t outlive you?

3) Designate an Executor

Another essential step is to choose someone to handle your estate. This person is responsible for carrying out the terms of your will, so it’s important to choose wisely. Also, be sure to discuss this with the person you’re considering for the role to verify that they’re up to the task. Don’t surprise someone down the road with a job they weren’t expecting. 

They will need to oversee the probate process and also fairly distribute your assets to your beneficiaries. This doesn’t mean that they need a special understanding of the courts, though, because they will likely work alongside an estate planning lawyer who can guide them through each step of the process. The executor is similarly responsible for settling your final debts and taxes.

4) Specify Guardians for Minor Children

If you have minor children, this is the time to decide who will take care of them in the event that you or their other parent is ever unable to. Clearly, this is one of the most important aspects of your will, so it’s important to go over the details with your Brentwood will attorney to make sure that the paperwork is handled properly. Accidental loopholes could lead to a custody battle that would be traumatic for your children, especially at a time when they were already struggling from your loss.  

Talk to a Brentwood Will Attorney

For your peace of mind, don’t put off creating a will. When you’re ready to talk to a Brentwood will attorney, contact Lewman Law by calling (925) 447-1250. John Lewman is a leading estate planning attorney in the Tri-Valley area. He’s known for his knowledge, skill and dedication, as well as his reassuring and compassionate demeanor. Do you have questions? Lewman Law is here to help.

Filed under Estate Planning Tips

4 Signs it’s Time to Update Your Will

There are risks to putting off critical updates to your legal documents, especially when it comes to estate planning concerns. If you were to pass away with a will that is woefully out of date, your loved ones are left behind to sort out your affairs. Is it time to update your will? If it’s been a while, it’s a good idea to check in with an estate planning expert. But in the meantime, here are a few tips from a Brentwood will attorney.

Read on for 4 signs that it’s time to update your will. Some of them might just surprise you. 

1)Your Beneficiary Has a Gambling or Substance Abuse Problem

If your beneficiary has developed an addiction like gambling or a substance abuse problem, you might want to make some changes to your estate planning documents. One option would be to talk with your Brentwood will attorney about establishing a trust that has some oversight, rather than leaving cash for your beneficiary. 

2) You Had a Child

Having a new child changes everything. Regardless of whether or not this is your first child, your will needs to be revised as soon as possible. One reason for this is that your will allows you to name someone to care for your child in case anything ever happened to you. If you choose to create a trust for your child, you can also decide who will oversee administration of property in that trust. Be sure to update your will before your child is born, as it’s more challenging to find the time once they arrive. 

3) You’re Getting a Divorce

If you’re thinking about getting a divorce or your marriage has already come to an end, your former spouse no longer has marital rights to your estate. That is, unless it was included in the divorce agreement. This is an important time to review your estate planning documents and make sure they’re all current, especially if you’re going back to your family name. 

4) Your Executor Passed Away

Your will needs to be updated if you named an executor to manage your estate but they’ve since passed away. Although, if your current will also has a contingency plan this might not be the case. Check to make sure.

Schedule an Appointment with a Tracy Will Lawyer

For your peace of mind, don’t put off creating or updating your will. When you’re ready to talk to an estate planning attorney, contact Lewman Law by calling (925) 447-1250. John Lewman is a leading estate planning attorney in the Tri-Valley area. He’s known for his knowledge, skill and dedication, as well as his reassuring and compassionate demeanor. Do you have questions? Lewman Law is here to help.

Filed under Estate Planning Tips