• (925) 750-7795
  • 5890 Stoneridge Drive, Suite 105,
    Pleasanton, CA 94588

What a will, will and won’t do

A will allows you to dictate, to some extent, what should be done with your estate after you die. For example, a will can allow you to 1) name someone to oversee your estate and 2) leave instructions for the distribution of your assets. But, while a will is a useful part of many estate plans, it may not be enough for your estate planning needs. What follows is a list of reasons why, even though you already have a will, you may still need to speak with an experienced attorney to review and update your estate plan:

  • Planning for Incapacity – a will addresses what happens to your estate after you die. But, it does not address what happens to your estate when you become incapacitated but do not die. You need to use tools like a power of attorney and advance medical directive to make sure that your assets are managed properly and that important medical decisions are made on your behalf according to your instructions should something happen to you and you are unable to do so yourself.
  • A Will Can Be More Easily Contested – a will is not the best estate planning solution in many cases because people can contest your will and challenge your wishes. A successful will contest could result in your will not being enforced at all. Even an unsuccessful effort to contest your will could be costly and reduce the overall value of your heir’s inheritance.
  • A Will Does Not Avoid Probate – when you transfer assets via a will, these assets transfer through probate. Probate can be very expensive and the fees and costs involved will reduce the value of your estate. What’s more, probate takes a lot of time. Your family will have to wait through the entire probate process to inherit from your estate, which can be problematic if your loved ones are relying on an inheritance to get by.
  • A Will May Not Sufficiently Protect Minor Children – if you have minor children, your will may not provide enough protection. If you leave money to your minor children, the court may appoint a guardian to oversee the funds and how the money is spent. And when your minor children turn 18, they will inherit with no instructions or limitations on how they spend their inheritance.
  • Wills Don’t Avoid Estate Taxes – anything that you transfer through a will is going to pass through probate and could be subject to estate taxes. Other estate planning tools can sometimes help you to reduce or avoid estate taxes completely.

Protect your loved ones even after you pass

Other estate planning tools, like trusts, can allow you to decide who will manage the money you leave to your minor children and ensure that they do not get their inheritance at 18 with no strings attached. Even if you already have a will, speaking with an attorney who can review and update your estate plan is a good idea. An experienced attorney can help you consider incorporating other estate planning tools for a more comprehensive and thorough estate plan. Call Jarratt Martin Law, LLP at (925) 750-7795, or set up your free information call online.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.