Why You Need a Will
When a person dies, that person’s money passes onto his or her estate. From a legal perspective, an estate is like a company (estates have similar tax ID numbers to companies). The estate pays money to the person’s heirs according to the deceased person’s will. If you do not write a will, the state of California will use its default rules to determine who will inherit your money.
If you die without a will, the laws of intestate succession will govern who gets your assets. In most cases, the state will give your money to your close relatives. If you are married, the close relative is usually your spouse. If you are not married, your children, parents, or siblings will inherit your money. You need a will if you want to leave some or all of your money elsewhere. This includes gifting assets to your cousins, your friends, or a charity, for example.
Why do you need a Will? The best reason to write a will, though, is even more important than money. If you have children younger than age 18, you must write a will. A will is the only means to control who will get custody of your children if you die before they grow up. If you die without a will when your children are minors, the court will decide who gets custody of them. They might end up in foster care or living with relatives of your ex-spouse who are your sworn enemies. If you have minor children, this is probably the most important reasons why you need a will.
Do You Need to Hire a Lawyer?
Everyone needs a will, no matter how modest their wealth. Keep in mind; however, you don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money and hire an estate planning lawyer, though. Unless your financial assets are so substantial that you require professional help to manage them while you are alive, you probably do not need an estate planning lawyer to write your will or other estate documents. If you are not wealthy enough to need the services of a financial planner, then you definitely do not need an estate planning lawyer to help you draft your will. Even if you have a financial planner, you probably don’t need to waste your hard-earned money for an estate planning lawyer to draft your estate documents.
Certainly, it is definitely important to seek expert guidance, however. Your will and estate documents must meet specific legal requirements, so it is a good idea to have a registered legal document assistant (LDA) prepare it for you. Most lawyers and legal document assistants use the same California estate planning legal software to prepare estate planning documents. This is why you often get the exact same product when you use a legal document assistant as you do if you used a lawyer.
A People’s Choice is a Great Option For Low-Cost Estate Planning
Remember, a registered legal document assistant (LDA) can help you prepare your will or other estate planning documents for a lower price than you would have to pay for a lawyer. Contact A People’s Choice about estate planning document preparation services. Call us today at 800-747-2780.
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