Did you know that there is a strong possibility that estate planning lawyers can actually make more money off your do-it-yourself Will than if you had hired them to plan your estate? When you decide to put together DIY estate planning documents, there is more of a possibility that your loved ones may need to go to probate court to administer your estate or go through the stress of a conservatorship proceeding if your power of attorney isn’t perfectly executed. This is when estate planning attorneys can make more much money than on any up-front estate plan, leaving your loved ones with more of a headache and less than you expected to be leaving behind.
Here are some of the top five reasons why you should never try to create your own estate planning documents:
1. Estate planning documents are not a “one size fits all” process
A quick google search can result in enough “copy and paste”, do-it-yourself estate planning documents to make your head spin. The problem is estate planning documents do not fit into a one size fits all category. Each person’s situation and family dynamics are unique. Therefore, personalized estate planning documents are a necessity. To ensure that your estate planning documents best suit your needs, it’s best to leave it to a professional estate planning attorney in San Diego.
Related post: 4 Benefits of Having an Estate Plan
2. Beneficiary designations
Determining a beneficiary can be both simple and complex all at the same time. Even something as simple as designating your spouse as the primary beneficiary and children as the contingent beneficiaries can be fraught with unforeseen complexities. What happens in the case of divorce? What if your kids are minors at the time of inheritance? What if one of the named beneficiaries were to predecease you? This is where choosing the right beneficiaries, whether a person or a trust, and properly dealing with all of the “what if” scenarios is extremely important. An estate planning attorney in San Diego can assist you in determining appropriate primary and alternate beneficiaries.
3. Proper document execution
You’ve crossed your “T’s” and dotted your “I’s” on your DIY will. Now it’s time to sign. One of the most common mistakes made when you create a will on your own is that it is improperly witnessed or mistakenly notarized. When you work with an experienced estate planning attorney in San Diego, you can rest assured that this is something that will be done correctly.
4. Estate planning is more than just a Will
An estate planning attorney can help you evaluate which documents fit your own personal needs. Perhaps you need to set up a trust or plan for a guardian for your child in the event that you pass away. You should always have a living will to clearly state what you expect end of life medical treatment to look like, and a power of attorney for financial decisions to keep our family out of court while we’re alive but incapacitated. Overall, it’s critical to remember that estate planning is much more than just creating a Last Will & Testament.
5. State Law and Tax Law
The laws that govern estate planning Law are complicated, from California Probate code to state and federal tax law. Many people don’t realize that each state has different laws pertaining to estate planning, and the federal government has overarching laws that apply equally. Common tax concerns to deal with include the Estate tax, Gift Tax, Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Property Tax, and Income Tax. Oftentimes these tax implications will compete with one another, so a well-versed estate planning attorney in San Diego will become the best person to help you navigate what plan of approach makes the most sense based on your goals and situation. This can help you prepare for taxes that generate from inheritance and ensure that you are leaving your loved ones the maximum amount of your assets as possible.
Let Jenkins & Jenkins Provide You with the Peace of Mind Your Deserve
When you work with an estate planning attorney, you are making an investment in your own legal well-being as well as that of your family. An estate planning attorney in San Diegocan help to ensure that all of your financial and medical wishes are carried out both during your lifetime as well as when you pass away. Jenkins and Jenkins, Estate Planning Attorneys, is a family-based company that provides you with that peace of mind. Schedule a meeting to discuss your needs today.
Testimonial from Eva, Satisfied Estate Planning Client
TOP NOTCH Estate Attorney right here in town! If Google would let me give more than 5 stars on this review I would! I am grateful I chose this power couple to handle my Estate Planning/ Living Trust. Michael is very professional, knowledgeable, reliable, trustworthy and dependable. He answered all my questions, he listened to what was needed, responded in a very timely manner and was flexible around our hectic schedule! I am grateful my sister in law referred him to us. Also, he was gracious and helpful to look over both my parents and in laws Estate/Trusts (established many years ago) to make sure things were done properly. Thank goodness we had him look over them as there were some technical errors that may cause us stress in the future! I highly recommend having Jenkins and Jenkins to handle your Estate/Trust Planning needs!