Why You Need an Estate Planning Attorney

by | Jul 14, 2020 | estate planning

Hiring an estate planning attorney is an excellent way to get the peace of mind of knowing that your future finances are taken care of. It can be stressful going through life, not having a plan for the future. An estate planning attorney is there to help you prepare wills, trusts, and other forms of estate planning so that you can be sure that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes upon your passing.

California Estate Planning Attorneys

The attorneys at Galanti & Copenhaver, Inc. have many years of experience taking care of their clients’ estate planning needs. Whether you are just getting started with the estate planning process, or whether you want to make changes to your estate plans, our office can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to meet with one of our attorneys to learn more about how Galanti & Copenhaver, Inc. can help you with your estate planning needs.

Estate Planning Often Includes More Than Just Wills

While it is true that you can write a will on your own, in many cases, this is not the best approach. Hiring an estate planning attorney to prepare it for you will ensure that it is valid under your state law and that it is done correctly. 

Additionally, many people would benefit from expanding their estate planning beyond just creating a will. For example, a living trust (revocable trust) or an irrevocable trust may be beneficial for your estate.

Another important aspect of estate planning is an advance medical directive. Creating an advance medical directive allows you to state how you want your medical care to be handled in the event you are unable to make the decisions on your own for yourself. This may include decisions about whether or not you would want extraordinary measures taken to prolong your life (such as life support), and other important medical decisions.

You may also want to consider preparing a financial power of attorney. With this document, you can name someone that you want to have the responsibility of making financial decisions for you if you become incapacitated (and are unable to make these decisions for yourself).

As you get started with the estate planning process, it is helpful to consider other forms of estate planning, not just a will. Your attorney can help you review your assets and decide what type of estate plans make the most sense for your needs.

Hiring an Estate Planning Attorney Can Save You Money

While some people think hiring an estate planning attorney may be too expensive, doing so can actually save you money. Without an estate plan, you (and your estate) can end up paying more down the road for things like court costs, taxes, and professional fees. Hiring an attorney who has experience with estate planning can substantially cut down these costs.

Your attorney may also help you to avoid the probate process, depending on how your estate plans are structured. This will help your beneficiaries cut down costs in the future, and it also has the added benefit of keeping your finances more private. When an estate goes through probate, the associated information becomes public record. Many people wish to avoid this for various privacy reasons.

Estate Planning Can Become Complicated

Estate planning is not as simple as writing up a will and calling it a day. There are other things you may want to include in your estate plans to make sure your beneficiaries are taken care of. 

If your estate is on the larger side, an estate planning attorney can help you determine what estate planning tools are in your best interest. If you have multiple beneficiaries and assets, it is important to work with an estate planning attorney so that your estate plans accurately state your wishes. Unclear terms will only lead to confusion down the road for your beneficiaries and may require time in court to resolve the matters.

Another thing to keep in mind is that both federal and California state laws change from time to time. In order to make sure that your estate planning documents are in accordance with these laws, and also take advantage of any favorable tax benefits, you will want to involve an estate planning attorney.

An Estate Planning Attorney Can Help You Leave Some or All of Your Assets to Charity

If you want to designate a charitable organization as one of your beneficiaries, an estate planning attorney can help you make sure that you are going about it in the most legally beneficial way. There are ways to use estate planning tools to reduce taxes that can allow you to make the most of your charitable gift. Contact us today at 707-538-6074 or fill out our online contact form to see how we can help you today.