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9 Smart Estate Planning Tips from a Livermore Estate Planning Attorney

Everyone wants to leave a legacy that’s positive and impactful. One way to do this is by planning for your future through estate planning, which helps you designate how you want your assets distributed after you’re no longer around to manage them. The best part about estate planning is that it doesn’t have to be complicated or take a lot of time. You can review the following smart tips from a Livermore estate planning attorney and get started on the process today. Such careful preparation will help ease the burden on your loved ones when the time comes and also make sure that your assets go where you intend them to go instead of being subject to probate procedures at the courthouse.

9 Smart Estate Planning Tips from a Livermore Estate Planning Attorney

Create a will

The first step to any estate plan is to create a will. A will is a legal document that specifies the distribution of your assets after you pass away. This will also name the executor of your estate, who will be charged with carrying out your wishes as stated in your will and overseeing the distribution of your assets according to your instructions. That way, your loved ones won’t have to go through the probate process. If you haven’t created a will yet, you should. You never know when you might pass away unexpectedly, and the probate process is a long and complex one that your loved ones would rather not have to go through. A will is also a great way to tie up any loose ends in your life. You can use your will to distribute any remaining funds from your life insurance policy, state any specific bequests that you would like to include in your will, and name guardians for any minor children in your family.

Name a trusted executor

When you make your will, you should name an executor. Your executor will be the person who will be responsible for carrying out your will after you pass away. This person should be someone who you trust completely and who you know will do what you want with your assets after you’ve gone. If you have any children, you should definitely name one of them as your executor. If you don’t have any children, you might choose a close relative, such as a sibling, or a friend who you trust to carry out your wishes. If you name someone other than your children as your executor, you will want to also leave them a letter explaining your reasoning behind your decision. This will help you avoid any hurt feelings in the future.

Estimate your estate’s value

Before you begin planning your estate, you should estimate the value of your assets. This will help you to determine how much you will need to leave to your loved ones in order to ensure that they are provided for. For example, if you have a child who is still in school and you would like to leave enough money to cover their remaining tuition, you will need to plan accordingly and leave enough for them to complete their education. While you don’t need an exact amount for every single thing that you would like to leave behind, it is helpful to have a ballpark figure of how much your assets are worth so that you can plan accordingly and make sure that your loved ones are properly provided for.

Decide how you want to leave your assets

There are two main methods of leaving your assets to your loved ones: through a will or through a trust. A will is a legal document that outlines your distribution of assets, while a trust is a legal document that is set up during your lifetime. Both of these methods have their pros and cons, so you should decide which one is best for you depending on the specifics of your situation. For example, a will can be modified at any point in time, but a trust is an estate planning contract that is completely binding for life. With that being said, most people will choose to include a trust as part of their estate planning in order to protect their assets from creditors. If you have any debt, you will want to be careful about how you leave your assets. You don’t want to leave them to your loved ones while they are still under your name.

Designate heirs

After you’ve determined how you want to distribute your assets, you will want to name your heirs. You can name anyone who you want to inherit your assets, but there are a few people who you should probably name: your spouse, your children, and your parents. You can also name your siblings and any other family members who you would like to receive a portion of your assets. While you can name anyone you want, it is best to name only those people whom you would not feel guilty about leaving your assets to. After you’ve named your heirs, you should write a letter to each one of them to explain your reasoning behind the distribution of your assets. This will help prevent any hurt feelings from arising in the future.

Care for your loved ones after you’re gone

No matter what methods you choose to distribute your assets, it’s important to think about your loved ones after you’ve gone. Are they financially stable enough to take care of themselves? Do they have any special needs that require assistance? If so, you should include that in your estate planning. You don’t want to leave your assets to your children and have them be unable to take care of themselves because they don’t have the proper funds. With that being said, you also don’t want to leave your assets to someone who is financially unstable. You want to make sure that they will be able to use your assets to improve their situation.

Revocable Living Trust (RLT)

If you want to protect your assets from creditors, you should consider setting up a revocable living trust. A trust is a legal contract that is set up during your lifetime. It allows you to hold your assets in your name, but protects them from your creditors. You can add new assets to the trust whenever you want, but you can also remove them when you no longer want them to be included in the trust. A trust is a great way to protect your assets from creditors, but you should also make sure that you have a will in place to distribute your assets according to your wishes after you pass away.

Financial plan for your funeral expenses

This may seem like an odd thing to include in your estate planning, but it’s important to plan for funeral expenses. Funeral expenses can be astronomical, especially if you want a traditional funeral with a casket, a vault, and flowers. If you don’t have enough saved up to cover your funeral expenses, it can put a strain on your loved ones, especially if they are still grieving. You can plan for your funeral expenses by setting up a funeral expense account, purchasing a funeral insurance policy, or setting up a funeral trust. Whichever method you choose, you will be able to rest assured that your loved ones won’t have to worry about the financial burden that funeral expenses can cause.

You can still change your mind

No matter how carefully you plan your estate, things can change. You may get divorced, have a child, experience a financial crisis, get re-married, or experience some other life-changing event. If you feel the need to change your estate plan, you can do so at any time. You don’t have to wait to change your mind about something. If something comes up that completely alters your situation, you can always change your estate plan. If you are going through a divorce, you may want to change your will to name your new spouse as the beneficiary of your assets. If you have a child, you may want to change your will to name that child as your heir. Whatever your situation may be, you can always make changes to your estate plan.

Final words

While it’s important to plan carefully, you also don’t want to put so much pressure on yourself to plan the perfect estate that you end up feeling stressed out. You don’t need to have the most complicated, intricate estate plan in the world. If you follow the tips in this article and keep them in mind when you make your estate plan, you will be well on your way to creating a plan that works for you and your situation.

We Can Help

If you have any further questions about estate planning and probate, please reach out to us at Lewman Law. We are happy to answer any questions you might have.

Filed under Estate Planning Tips

Need a Probate Attorney Near Me? Let Us Help Today

If you have plans to leave assets to someone after your death, or if you have been named as a beneficiary in another individual’s will, you will probably need the services of a probate attorney. Read on to learn about what a probate attorney near me can help you with today!

What Does a Probate Attorney Near Me Do?

Probate attorneys are experienced professionals who help individuals and their families go through the process of handling an estate after someone has passed on. These lawyers can help you navigate this complex process and protect your interests as needed. The role of a probate attorney is multifaceted. 

Depending on your personal situation and needs, an attorney may be able to offer general advice about making wills, trusts, and other documents that may assist in managing your assets during your lifetime; draw up those legal documents for you; act as your advocate within probate court; manage the final distribution of assets after all other final details have been finalized; and advise you on any tax liabilities that may arise from advising in this area. There are many considerations when choosing a probate lawyer, including experience with clients in similar situations, cost, location, and availability of service.

What is Probate?

Probate is the legal process through which an estate is distributed following the death of an individual. An executor named in the deceased individual’s will often oversees this process and does not need the assistance of an attorney. If the estate is relatively small, if there is no will naming an executor, or if there is a dispute among family members about the terms of the will, an attorney may be beneficial to ensure that the process is carried out according to the law. 

During this process, an executor will deal with the applicable government agency, known as the probate court. This court is charged with managing the distribution of assets among the deceased person’s beneficiaries. These assets may include real estate, stocks, bonds, cars, and cash. When the probate court has finalized its process and distributed assets, it issues a “probate discharge.” As long as the terms of the will have been followed, this will allow beneficiaries to receive their share of the deceased person’s assets.

Who Can Benefit from a Probate Lawyer?

Anyone whose estate is likely to be valued at $100,000 or more could benefit from hiring a probate lawyer. While a will may be specific about how a person’s assets should be distributed after his or her death, it cannot dictate how probate will be handled. A probate lawyer can advise you on the best way to go about this process and assist you in making sure that everything is carried out according to the law. If you have valuable real estate, stocks, bonds, or other assets that will be part of your estate, it may be beneficial to hire a probate lawyer to help you create a will that names an executor who can oversee the probate process. In many cases, probate lawyers also assist with trusts, guardianships, and other issues.

How Does a Probate Attorney Help During the Probate Process?

If you need to go through probate, you will likely have to go to court. A probate attorney can help you navigate this process and make sure that all of your interests are protected. The courts may have specific rules regarding the way probate is handled in the area where your estate is located. A probate lawyer is familiar with these rules, and can guide you through the process. 

During this process, a probate attorney can help you with any of the following tasks: 

Drawing up documents: An attorney can help you create the documents that are needed to finalize the distribution of your estate. This can include drawing up a will, a trust, or other appropriate documents. 

Advising you about tax issues: The probate process will cause taxes to be due on your estate. A probate lawyer can help you understand how you should report these taxes and deal with any issues that may arise. 

Advocating for you in probate court: If there is a dispute among family members about the terms of a will, or if the estate is relatively small, probate court may be the appropriate venue for resolving this dispute. A probate attorney can help you navigate this process and make sure that your interests are represented. 

Managing the final distribution of assets: Once the probate court has finalized its process, the assets will be distributed according to the terms of the will or by the court if there is no will. A probate lawyer can help you manage this process so that all of the details are handled correctly.

Pros of Working With a Probate Attorney

Probate is a complex process that can be difficult to navigate on your own. An experienced probate lawyer can help you navigate this process with ease and make the most of your situation. 

Here are some advantages of working with a probate lawyer: 

– They understand the law – Probate lawyers go through specialized training that helps them understand the law and how it applies to your situation. This can make the process easier to navigate. 

– They have experience – A probate lawyer has probably helped many people through the probate process. They understand the many challenges that can come up and can help you navigate these challenges with ease. 

– They can help you understand your options – The process of creating and distributing an estate can be complex. A probate lawyer can help you understand the best way to handle these issues and make the best decisions for your situation. 

– They can help you manage expectations – The probate process can be slow because it is regulated by the government. A probate lawyer can help you understand how long the process is likely to take and help you manage your expectations. 

– They can protect your interests – The probate process can be complex and challenging. A probate lawyer can help you navigate these challenges and make sure that your interests are protected at every turn. 

– They can help you navigate complex issues – There are many complex issues associated with the probate process, including taxes, disputes among family members, and real estate issues. A probate lawyer can help you navigate these issues and make sure that nothing is missed.

How to Find the Right Attorney for Your Needs

When you are searching for a probate lawyer, you want to make sure that you find the right fit for your situation. 

There are several ways to find a probate lawyer, including: 

– Ask other people – If you know anyone who has had to go through the probate process, ask them which attorney they used. You can also ask other legal professionals to make recommendations. 

– Review online directories – There are several online directories that can help you find probate attorneys in your area. Many of these directories also allow you to filter results based on specific criteria, such as cost or location. 

– Hire an attorney referral service – Attorney referral services receive a fee when you hire an attorney through their service. However, many are worth the cost of their fee because they help you find a reputable attorney who specializes in your area of law. 

– Conduct an initial screening – Once you have a list of potential attorneys, conduct an initial screening to determine which ones are a good fit for you. You can do this by asking each attorney a few questions.

– Ask for a consultation – Once you have narrowed your list down to a few good candidates, arrange a consultation with each one. During this consultation, make sure to ask plenty of questions. 

– Be wary of scams – Unfortunately, fraud is common in the legal profession. Be wary of attorneys who offer to represent you with no upfront costs or who promise results that are too good to be true.

We Can Help

If you have any further questions, or you would like to get started today, please contact Lewman Law now. We look forward to learning how we can help you and your loved ones.

Filed under Estate Planning Tips, Legal Services, Probate Tips

Looking for an Estate Planning Attorney Near Me? How They Can Help

When you’re thinking about your future, your family, and your finances, it’s natural to wonder how you’ll protect your assets and your loved ones. Part of this might be wondering if there’s a way to protect your family from financial burdens and unknown risks in the future. An estate planning attorney near me can help you with these concerns and devise a plan to protect your loved ones and your assets. For more information, please review the article below.

What is an Estate Planning Attorney?

The term “Estate Planning” can be confusing to the average person. It seems like a lot of legal mumbo jumbo. So what is an estate planning attorney? An estate planning attorney is someone who specializes in helping individuals, couples, families, and businesses plan their financial affairs. 

Estate planning is the process of making sure that your assets are handled properly before you pass away. It involves having a clear understanding of your personal and financial goals, as well as your family’s future needs and expectations. An estate planning attorney can help guide you through the process.

Looking for an Estate Planning Attorney Near Me? How They Can Help

Pros of Estate Planning

The pros of estate planning can be summarized in three main points: 

-Estate planning helps you plan for your future  

-It prepares your family for what happens after your death  

-Estate planning is a necessity 

Estate planning allows you to take control of your future. For example, if you’ve built a successful business, you have the opportunity to choose how its sold or transferred to the next generation. You may also want to protect the value of your assets so they can pass on to your loved ones without being taxed heavily by the IRS. Whatever your goals are, estate planning gives you an opportunity to plan ahead of time and make sure that everything goes as planned.

How an Estate Planning Attorney Near Me Can Help You

Estate planning attorneys can advise you on all aspects of estate planning, including asset protection and estate administration. They will help you create a strategy to protect your family and your assets so your loved ones will be in a good position should anything happen to you. The main areas that an estate planning attorney can help with are:  

– Weaving together the right documents to protect your property  

– Providing legal advice on tax implications, trusts, and wills  

– Advising you on what type of trust best suits your needs  

– Drafting up documents like living wills or advanced healthcare directives  

– Taking care of financial matters like paying bills and settling debts after death

How an Estate Planning Attorney Can Protect Your Assets

An estate planning attorney can help you protect your assets, your family, and your business in the following ways:

– Estate Planning Attorneys can help you protect your assets by drafting wills and trusts that dictate how to distribute your wealth upon death. This can include specifying which people or charities will receive certain items, such as a house or car, in the event you pass away. It might also include setting up trusts for minor children until they reach adulthood.  

– They can also help you protect your family from financial burdens by naming guardians for minor children and setting up life insurance policies. An estate planning attorney can also provide guidance in case one spouse dies and the other is left with a small income to provide for their surviving spouse and children. 

– Your estate planning attorney could also help protect your business by drafting agreements that limit future liability if someone were to buy the company after you die.

How an Estate Planning Attorney Can Protect Your Loved Ones

An estate attorney can help you protect your loved ones by drafting a will, preparing for incapacity, implementing trusts and powers of attorney, and other measures. He or she can help you choose the right beneficiaries for your retirement funds and assets. An estate planning attorney can also help you create trusts, including charitable trusts that are designed to provide income to family members or designated charities. 

This type of lawyer is a specialist who helps clients protect their assets through wills and trusts. Estate attorneys draft wills and other legal documents to ensure that the person who created them has the ability to control where their property goes after they die. They also help families cope with unexpected events like accidents or illnesses by creating legally binding documents to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of if anything happens to you.

How to Choose an Estate Planning Attorney

When it comes to choosing an estate planning attorney, you want to take the time to find a good fit. Some factors you may want to consider are: 

Qualifications

When choosing an estate planning attorney, it’s important to find someone that’s qualified. While there are many legal aspects involved in the process, such as drafting a will or trust, you need to first find someone that’s knowledgeable on taxes and other financial matters. 

Flexibility

It’s also important to find an attorney who can work with your schedule. You most likely have a demanding job or other obligations that may make it difficult for you to meet during business hours. When you choose an estate-planning lawyer, make sure they offer evening and weekend appointments. That way you don’t have to take time off of work or book travel just to see them!  

Reviews

One thing you should do when looking for the best estate planning attorney is to check reviews online. This way, you can get a good idea of what people’s experiences are and whether or not they recommend the lawyer. You’ll also be able to see what other clients think about their experience with the lawyer.

Asking Questions

It’s important to ask questions of a potential lawyer. For example, you might want to find out if they have experience in your specific area of concern (e.g., estate planning). You may also want to know how often they meet with clients, and whether or not they offer face-to-face consultations.

If you already know what you need and are looking for a lawyer to help you, ask them if they can help. For example, if you want to set up your will, find an attorney who specializes in wills. They should be able to tell you that right away. If they can’t help you specifically, they might recommend someone else.

Availability to Meet

When you first call or email an attorney’s office, a receptionist will likely answer the phone or email. You should ask them if the attorney is willing to meet with you for a free consultation before you commit to anything. If they are not willing to meet with you, this could be a red flag.

Conclusion

When it comes to estate planning, the decisions you make can have a huge impact on your loved ones and your legacy. An estate lawyer can help by providing you with counsel, legal documents, and filing services. We hope this guide has helped you choose an estate planning attorney and informed you on how they can help protect you and your loved ones.

We Can Help

If you have any further questions, or you would like to get started today, please contact us now. We look forward to learning how we can help you and your loved ones.

Filed under Estate Planning Tips, financial planning, Legal Services

Estate Litigation Lawyers: Top Reasons to Hire

When it comes to your home, business, or family, you want to be sure that you’re doing everything possible to protect your assets. This means you should probably find an estate planning attorney to help you take care of any estate planning needs that you might have. A good estate litigation lawyer can help explain your options, give you advice, and help you prepare your will and trust. Here are some of the top reasons to begin your search for estate litigation lawyers in your area.

Estate Litigation Lawyers: Top Reasons to Hire

They Can Help With Estate Planning 

Estate litigation lawyers can be a great resource when you’re looking for estate planning. If you are the executor of an estate, the lawyer can help you prepare for the probate process and guide you through all of the steps. They can also provide assistance with creating living wills, which are essential documents to have in place before an emergency. If you find yourself in need of an attorney specializing in estate litigation, they can help you take care of any issues.

They Can Help With Litigation 

Estate litigation lawyers are not just for estate planning needs. They might also be the best choice for any litigation needs you have. If you need help with handling a lawsuit, an estate litigation lawyer can provide you with guidance and representation. Litigation can be complicated, but hiring an attorney will make it much easier to handle.

They Can Help With Asset Protection Strategies 

Estate litigation lawyers can help you create strategies that will protect your assets. A lot of people don’t take the time to think about what would happen if they were to die and leave someone out of their will. However, this is a big problem, because any type of property could be contested by anyone who feels they have been wronged or overlooked. An estate litigation lawyer can work with you on an estate plan to distribute all your assets as desired, and all parties involved feel respected.

They Can Help With Probate 

One of the most important things that estate litigation lawyers can do is help you through the probate process. They can assist with executor duties, such as gathering assets and making sure they’re properly distributed according to your wishes. They can also make sure there are no legal or financial problems that could arise after you’ve passed, like in cases where someone may try to contest your will or steal from your family.

They’re Experienced In Estate Law 

Estate litigation lawyers know what they’re doing and who has years of experience handling such cases. Estate planning attorneys benefit from seeing many different cases that others might not be familiar with, which means they know how to deal with a variety of different situations. They often know what to look for from an opposing party and can help craft your argument accordingly. They also understand the law regarding these types of cases, which gives you a better chance at winning your case or getting what you deserve.

They Can Advocate On Your Behalf 

One of the main reasons you might want to begin your search for estate litigation lawyers is that they can advocate on your behalf. Estate litigation lawyers are trained in legal matters, so they will know how to represent you in court. They can also give advice on your case and help you prepare for any potential outcomes. Your lawyer will represent you, which means they will voice your concerns and keep you informed as the case progresses. When you are fighting for something really important, it is good to have someone on your side who knows their way around the courtroom.

You Get Strong Expertise in Estate Litigation 

The law is complicated and it can be difficult to navigate the intricacies of estate litigation without the help of a qualified attorney. A good lawyer will know all the ins-and-outs of estate litigation, which will make their job easier. They will also know how to best represent you by knowing your needs and goals for your case.

They Have Superior Communication Skills 

Estate litigation lawyers have superior communication skills, and that is certainly something you want on your side. Going through a legal process can get complicated quickly. Your attorney needs to be able to clearly and concisely explain the process to you in order for you to make informed decisions about your rights. Without knowing what’s going on, it will be difficult for them to advocate for you in court. Most people would rather have someone who can communicate well than someone who cannot.

They are a Single Attorney to Handle all Your Issues 

Handling a legal matter on your own can be very stressful. As you are trying to juggle many different tasks, it is easy for you to make mistakes. Handling all aspects of estate litigation on your own is even more complicated because there are so many different types of issues that could come up: 

– Real estate transfer

– Family law

– Estate management

– Taxation

– Trusts and estates

– Probate

– Legal guardianship

– Employment law

You may have to handle one or more of these issues. Moreover, the attorney you hire will be your single point of contact. This means that you won’t have to worry about coordinating with multiple attorneys and potentially running into delays as a result. Hiring a single attorney simplifies the process and also saves you time and money in the long run by reducing the number of hours you spend coordinating with multiple attorneys who might not even know what they are doing!

You Want to Be Sure You Get a Fair Hearing 

If you are involved in a lawsuit, many people will be trying to influence the outcome. It is important to know that your lawyer will be impartial and will advocate for you. There are many people who think they can represent themselves in court, but an experienced estate litigation lawyer will have the knowledge and experience necessary to make sure that you get a fair hearing. They understand the complicated legal system and will be able to help you navigate it.

Legal proceedings can be very difficult for anyone, especially if you have never been through them before. To make sure you get a fair hearing, hiring an estate litigation lawyer is important. They know what they are doing and can help guide you through the process.

You Need an Attorney Who Understands Your Situation 

Estate litigation lawyers will be able to understand your situation and your worries or fears. Estate litigation lawyers represent the interests of individuals involved in pending or past estate litigation. This can include wills and trusts, probate disputes, fraud, guardianship issues, charitable trust disputes, and post-death disputes. 

Conclusion

Estate litigation lawyers have extensive experience in the field of estate law and can provide you with help with a variety of legal needs. They can help with probate and other legal needs and help with estate planning and litigation. When you hire an estate planning attorney, you get the best possible legal advice and ensure that your assets are protected under the law. It is the best way to secure your possessions and make sure they are going to who you intended. Hiring a lawyer to help you is also the best way to protect your spouse and your children as well. You can secure your children’s futures long after you are gone, and it is the only way to legally identify a guardian for them should something happen to you and your spouse. You will get an advocate in court should it be needed, and you will get someone with a knowledge of the law. 

We Can Help

Do you have a will trust attorney? Does your will include provisions that are in accordance with your trust? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, it may be time to take a closer look at your will.

Estate planning is a necessary process that every adult should go through, and they should do it sooner rather than later. With an estate plan, you’ll be able to determine what happens to your assets when you die, protect your family’s inheritance, and ensure that your wishes are fulfilled.

To get in touch with estate litigation lawyers, contact us at Lewman Law today by dialing (925) 447-1250.

Filed under Estate Planning Tips, Legal Services