Most of us have acquired assets over a lifetime of work and investment. Most of us would prefer to control the distribution of those assets at our death, rather than to leave that decision in the hands of strangers.
By hiring a Los Angeles Estate Planning Lawyer you empower yourself. You receive knowledgeable legal advice on how to plan the transfer of your property and care of your minor children. If you consult an estate planning lawyer, you will learn the differences between wills and trusts, and between living and irrevocable trusts. You can talk to him or her asset protection. You can work with your attorney to create a plan that will ensure that you maximum control over the management of your assets. You decide who will raise your children and who will receive your assets. You will also learn how to protect your assets from taxes and from probate, both of which can take big bites out of your estate.
Do not entrust your children, personal earnings, and property to a do-it- yourself will that might be invalid, might have holes in it, and might not do what you think it does. Hiring a lawyer provides you with peace of mind.
A Los Angeles Estate Planning Lawyer will help you to protect your property from probate. The probate process can last anywhere from one to two years if the contents of a will are unchallenged. If the will is challenged, probate can last several years, depriving your beneficiaries of material assistance and peace of mind. The probate process is expensive, but easy to avoid. No one wants to force their beneficiaries to undertake debts that they themselves did not incur while they wait for the courts to make decisions that should have been established by the deceased individual. When you retain a estate planning attorney, they will educate you about the different methods of ensuring that your property bypasses the probate process, and goes directly to your beneficiaries. That way, your debts and other obligations can be discharged immediately, instead of hanging over the heads of your loved ones. He can help you to understand joint tenancies, transfer of real estate, power of attorney, wills, living trusts, and special needs trusts. Regardless of the size of your estate, you need to make sure that you have professional legal insight in order to make the best decisions and come up with the most appropriate solutions for you and your beneficiaries.
The estate planning lawyer can lay out the pros and cons of holding property in joint tenancy. Joint tenancy is the form of holding title to personal and real property that passes automatically at your death to the person who you have named as your joint tenant. However, if you establish a joint tenancy with another person, they will then own part of your property, and that part may be lost if they do not properly manage it, or if their personal property is legally disputed, such as in a divorce. Instead, the lawyer might counsel you to establish a living trust, which would also ensure that your estate bypassed the probate process, and it does not carry the risk that is carried by a joint tenancy. It is easy to see how, without proper legal advice, a person with good intentions could accidentally put their beneficiaries at a disadvantage after their own demise. When you begin to plan for the time when you will no longer be able to look after the needs of your dependents and beneficiaries, you will need a legal professional to walk you through all of the available options, so that they will be able to help you to come to a decision that best suits the needs of you and your beneficiaries.