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  • Writer's pictureRichard McGinnis Staff

Why Do I Need A Will and An Estate Planning Attorney?

Updated: Aug 2, 2022

The main reason to work with a estate planning attorney in Roseville to create an estate plan is to protect assets worth over $150,000 from going through probate. In California for example, combined probate attorney and executor fees on probates are based on a percentage of the gross value of the estate.

These probate fees are 8% of the first $100,000; 6% of the next $100,000; and 4% on everything in your estate plan above that up to one million dollars. Additionally, there are court filing fees, county probate referee fees, and publication fees. Example, a $300,000 estate in Roseville could cost approximately $20,000 to probate.

If you’ve ever wondered exactly why you need a will, estate plan or the services of a will and trust attorney, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do you have a home or assets worth more than $150,000?

2. Do you have arrangements made for the custody of minor children?

3. Do any of your heirs or beneficiaries have special needs, substance abuse problems or trouble making financial decisions?

4. Do you need a revocable living trust created to care for aging parents in the event of your death?

5. Are you familiar with estate taxes and how to safeguard your heirs and estate from high taxes?

6. Do you know all the will and trust documents needed and feel comfortable enough using a template to protect your assets?

7. Do you need a custom approach for your estate plan to the distribution of your assets?

8. Do you have guardianship provisions for dependents that are not blood relatives?

9. Do you have a chronic illness, disability, or degenerative health condition?

10. Do you trust your immediate family members or spouse to make financial and end of life decisions?

11. Do you need the help of a living trust attorney in Roseville to circumvent a default distribution of your assets such as them passing to your spouse or children?

12. Do you not have any children, heirs or beneficiaries and need to create a will or trust with an attorney in Roseville to have your estate given to charities or your church?

13. Do you have a strained relationship with immediate relatives and the next of kin?

14. Do you want life decisions made by the most accessible person who was with you that day vs a preplanned strategy for your estate plan?

15. Do you want a one size fits all approach to your estate planning?

16. Do you want to get answers to your personal questions from a Google Search, or a trusted and qualified estate planning attorney in Roseville that knows how to address your unique situation.

17. Do you feel comfortable never speaking with the person who wrote your will and living revocable trust?

18. Are you comfortable enough paying to notarize documents that you don’t understand or having family left to deal with the consequences of mistakes?

19. Do you want to risk family ending up in probate court from DIY will and trust mistakes?

20. 3. You, or your family, end up in court and need a probate lawyer because the trust was not actually funded or the estate planning documents did not work the way you intended.

If I already have a will and trust, when should I update it?

So you already knew you needed an estate planning attorney and did the smart thing and worked with one to create a will and living revocable trust. But a lot has changed since you first created one. Maybe you started a new business, got divorced, had grandchildren. If you’re unsure if it’s time to update your estate plan, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Has a person named as your Advanced Healthcare Directive agent or healthcare power of attorney or back-up agent:

a) Relocated

b) Become Deceased

c) Become disabled

d) Become incapacitated

e) Fallen out of favor with you

2. Have you misplaced any of your estate planning documents?

3. Have you written any changes on any of your estate planning documents?

4. Has your marital status changed after signing your will and trust or have you signed a pre or post nuptial agreement?

5. Are any of your current assets not transferred to your living revocable trust?

6. Have you inherited, purchased or refinanced real estate in Roseville or Placer County after signing your estate plan? (It is important to verify whether your new real estate should be titled to your trust).

7. Has a person named in your estate plan (either a back-up team member or beneficiary):

a) Relocated

b) Deceased

c) Become disabled

d) Become incapacitated

e) Fallen out of favor with you

8. Would you like to update your existing back-up team order now?

9. Would you like to change how you provide for your living revocable trust beneficiaries now?

10. Have you added a person to a bank account so they could assist you in case of emergency or started a new business?

11. Do you own a trademark or patent now?

12. Would you be interested in exploring an option with a Roseville attorney to activate a “dormant” back-up team member your “co-pilot” so they may assist you now.

13. Did you sign your most recent health care power of attorney before 2004?

14. Have you designated your trust as beneficiary of an IRA or other retirement account? (Recent law changes can create complications when these accounts designate your trust as beneficiary and options are available to avoid the problem).

15. Do you wish to update a life insurance or annuity beneficiary?

16. For spouses: Are you uncertain whether your current trust is a simple, "all to spouse” trust or a more complex, "A-B-C" trust? (it is vital to ensure your current trust format is still appropriate to meet your current goals in light the recent estate tax law changes with a qualified estate planning attorney.

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, and need a quality living trust attorney in Roseville or Placer County or California, contact The Law Offices of Richard W. McGinnis at (916) 784-6377 for a free estate planning consultation. Our office welcomes you for a virtual or in-person consultation by appointment Monday – Friday from 8 am to 4 pm .

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