Los Angeles Wills Lawyer
Wills are an important part of the estate planning process, and while it is just one part of a larger picture, it is imperative that you consider creating a will. Many people do not like to think ahead to the time of their death, but the fact of the matter is that having a will in place will ease the burden on your family members and loved ones at the time of your death. Dealing with the distribution of assets can be stressful and time consuming, but creating a will provides structure and (hopefully) clear guidelines to the process.
Why You Need A Will
There are many reasons why you should create a will. Wills enable you to name beneficiaries to receive your assets after you pass; they more easily allow for the distribution of jewelry, money, and other assets because of the specifications listed in the document. You can also name people you wish to be a guardian for your children, should they still be underage at the time of your death; this holds up when the child(ren)’s other parent is deceased or otherwise entirely out of the picture. Finally, you can also name an executor for your deeds; the executor helps carry out your will and distributes your assets as you have specified in your will.
What Happens To Assets If There Is No Will
If you do not have a will, the court will automatically distribute your assets to blood relatives, if they are known. While this is better than your family not getting anything, the process can cause many headaches and arguing amongst your family, and there is no guarantee that the estate will be distributed as you would have wanted it. The court also will not taking into account your friends or other people closest to you, nor will they give anything to charities or groups that you may have been fond of.
Settling wills and other estate matters can take time, but making sure that as much is in order as possible before your passing helps ease the hardships that your family may face. If you have questions about creating a will or the other benefits of having one, schedule a free consultation with the Law Office of Anne Dowden Saxton today.
Los Angeles Trust Lawyer
When you place your property into a trust, you are giving power over your assets to a trustee. The trustee may be you or someone else, but it should be someone trustworthy and responsible enough to handle your affairs. People may do this for tax reasons, to reduce the stress of managing their own estate, or because the person expects to be incapacitated or deceased. Whatever the reason, the trustee is responsible for handling most if not all matters of the estate.
Some people opt for a living trust, which kicks if they are still alive but not able to make the necessary decisions to properly manage their estate.In a living trust, you are giving an individual—the trustee—the power to manage your assets. While you can name yourself as the trustee, you can also name someone else, or list someone as a backup should you choose not to manage your own estate or if you are no longer able to do so for health or other reasons. Living trusts are primarily helpful for people who have significant assets and/or children in the equation.
With any trust, it is important that you are appointing a competent individual as trustee. As mentioned previously, this could be you, someone else, or a co-trustee. These people will have a lot of responsibility and will have a great deal of control over your estate; whoever is appointed as your trustee should be unbiased and willing to deal fairly and work in your best interest. If an action is deemed to not be in your best interest, a court can reverse any applicable decisions made by the trustee.
Law Offices of Anne Dowden Saxton
Trusts are an important part of an estate plan, but they can also be daunting, so it is important to discuss any questions or issues you may have with a law professional like those at the Law Offices of Anne Dowden Saxton. Our lawyers can help you determine how best to set up your trust, and to determine if a living trust is right for your desires and your situation. Not everyone needs a living trust, but ensuring that your assets are squared away and ready for easy distribution amongst your loved ones is an important step in the estate planning process.