Do you know what will happen to your minor children, assets, and holdings when you’re gone?
Estate planning is an essential part of life to ensure your assets end up in the right hands when you are gone. A will is one powerful estate planning tool people use to plan for their loved ones’ futures.
A Newport Beach will lawyer has the knowledge and expertise in estate planning law to help you create a will that includes your needs, goals, and wishes regarding the distribution of your assets after you pass.
A will is a legal document explicitly stating who will inherit your personal property after death. Those who you designate to inherit your property are called “beneficiaries.” A will includes the designation of one or more beneficiaries and often an executor, a person you designate to manage the distribution of your personal property to your beneficiaries.
Creating a will provides those left behind with a clear view of your wishes and your intent, making it less likely that your property will end up in the wrong hands and that people you trust will care for your minor children.
A living will—legally referred to as a “health care directive” or “advance directive”—provides family members and physicians instructions for your end-of-life medical care.
An experienced estate planning attorney can also help you create a living will. Still, it is a different document than a Last Will and Testament, which deals with the distribution of your personal property.
Your will can include property and assets that are part of your estate.
Most wills include instructions about the distribution of one or more types of the following property:
If you have children under 18, you can also designate one or more guardians to take care of them until they are adults in the event of your death. You can also appoint guardians to manage your minor children’s assets.
Broadly, having a will allows for easier distribution of your assets and property to your beneficiaries and provides care for minor children. Specifically, creating a will as part of your estate plan gives you certain assurances and protections.
Creating a will prevents your property from being distributed in a way you do not want after passing on. This allows you to help those you want to help and avoid leaving valuable assets to those you believe do not need or deserve any of your property or assets.
Listing your wishes regarding who will care for your dependents prevents minor children from being forced to live with someone you would not have chosen as a guardian.
While a will alone doesn’t necessarily allow your estate to avoid probate, it does ensure that your assets do not get tied up in a lengthy probate court process. Without a will, your wishes might not be known after your death, leading to a lengthy court battle between your loved ones and creating excessive financial and emotional stress for those you leave behind.
An experienced probate attorney in Newport Beach, CA, is well-versed in California probate law and can guide you through what the process might look like for your loved ones when you’re gone.
Shortening any probate court requirements with a will prevents your estate and surviving family members from accumulating massive legal fees and court costs. Without a will, family members might need to go to court to determine their rights to inheritance. In some cases, court battles can drag on for months or years.
Creating a will protects your property and assets and ensures they go to the beneficiaries of your choice. Although an attorney is not necessary, it’s best to consult with an estate planning lawyer.
Will lawyers and probate lawyers in Newport Beach, CA, have specialized knowledge about California law and how it applies to estate planning. They can reduce your stress, help you plan how to distribute your property best, and prevent your beneficiaries from having grounds to contest your will by creating a solid document without loopholes.
As you search for a will lawyer in Newport Beach, CA, to help you create your will, you want to find the best attorney possible. The best Orange County probate lawyer for you understands your needs. They can guide you on the best path for asset protection planning and the distribution of your property according to your wishes.
Additionally, they can let you know which property you should include in your will and which property you should leave in a trust or another estate planning vehicle. Contact Meier Law Firm today to schedule a planning session. We can discuss your will and what estate planning tools are best for you.
First, you’ll attend a planning session with us to discuss your estate’s needs and your options.
We’ll identify what legal strategies will work best for your family to create a customized plan.
You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your family and assets are protected from unforeseeable circumstances.
Your loved ones’ futures are of the utmost importance. Knowing that you’ve done everything you can to ensure they’re cared for when you’re no longer able to will give you much-needed peace of mind.
Create an estate plan with an experienced Newport Beach estate planning lawyer at Meier Law Firm today.
Our overall experience was one of satisfaction as well as a learning experience. The people at The Meier Law Firm are extremely knowledgeable within Family Trust planning. They did a good job of explaining each step of the process in a manner that we could understand. They were always punctual when meeting with us, and the meetings were always concise and comforting. They were also pleasant and friendly.
My brother had lost his living trust documents. Suddenly, we found out he has stage 4 cancer. We called Meier and they were able to put together an updated trust in less than a week. Everyone at the firm was wonderful and caring. Melanie was our attorney. If you are looking for a caring, honest law firm, Meier is the one for you!
Our experience with the Meier Law Firm was positive from our first meeting with Jessica, through the final product we received last week. Very professional yet personable. Every question was answered & suggestions made to simplify our Trusts. Their attention to detail gave us confidence in their work.
We were introduced to Meier Law Firm through a learning session at our daughter’s school district. We eventually decided to establish a family trust, as well as a special needs trust, through their firm. The team at Meier Law Firm were professional and incredibly responsive to our family’s needs. I highly recommend their legal services.
Just thinking about creating a trust or a will can be overwhelming. But Meier Law Firm makes it easy. They tell you what you need to know, ask all of the right questions, & provide great practical suggestions along the way that go far beyond the legal checklist. Highly recommend them for personal, professional service to deliver what you need in a timely manner.
Not only do they provide expert guidance; they will walk the journey with you step-by-step to help with your family trust. They execute at high levels, are very responsive, and deliver the optimal results within difficult situations. You definitely want Meier Law Group on your side of the table. I give my highest recommendation!
Join a live webinar, register for an in-person event or invite Laura and Josh to speak at your company event.
In Good Parents Worry, Great Parents Plan, estate planning attorney and mother Laura Meier shows you the legal and practical steps you must take to protect your children from temporary foster care, courtrooms, loss of inheritance, and other turmoil most kids experience when their parents pass away.
“Laura Meier’s The Family Nest Egg gives parents the tools they need to find confidence, stop worrying, and secure the financial future for their loved ones. Laura’s real-life stories and actionable advice make this read a trustworthy resource for budgeting, investing, and preparing for a financial crisis.”
Creating a very basic will in California doesn’t cost a fortune. Some estimates for wills are as low as $150 and as much as $1,000 or more. When you have a significant number of assets or an estate that’s complicated, the costs can increase since an estate planning lawyer will need to take steps to ensure the legality of your will and your estate plan.
California probate law outlines specific requirements for wills to be valid, including:
If any of these requirements aren’t met on your will document, it may be ruled invalid in probate court.
In many California probate cases, if the deceased does not have a will when they die, their spouse will inherit all or at least half of the couple’s community property. When the deceased leaves behind other people—like multiple children—their spouse will often inherit only one-third of the estate.