Jackson, CA Will And Trust Lawyers
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What Is A Will, And Why Do You Need One?
A will is a legal document that lays out your wishes for how your assets will be distributed (and who will care for your minor children, if you have them) upon your death. There are many different types of wills:
Last will and testament (traditionally what you may think of if you think of a will)
Living wills (which aren’t really wills at all, and are actually wishes for your medical care should you become incapacitated)
Joint wills (wills that combine the wishes of two people, typically spouses)
Without a will, if you die unexpectedly, your family will likely be unaware of what you would have wanted. Even if they were, California state laws – not them – will control how your assets are distributed. Intestate laws determine who gets what. However, the laws don’t know your unique family history and dynamics. Some of your family members whom you love could end up with nothing, and some of your favorite possessions could end up going to family members you didn’t intend to have them.
What Is A Trust, And Why Do You Need One?
A trust is a legal and financial entity that owns and manages your assets, both during your lifetime and upon your death. You, the grantor/creator, set the terms of the trust and designate a trustee to oversee the management of the trust (which may be yourself) as well as beneficiaries to benefit from the trust (which also may include yourself).
Unlike a will, trusts go into effect immediately upon creation and offer much more security for your hard-earned assets. Also unlike a will, trusts do not have to go through probate (a California court process that may have to occur if you only have a will before your assets can legally pass to your beneficiaries). Probate is time-consuming and expensive, and puts a heavy legal burden on families while they are grieving.
If you don’t have a trust, and you have a medical emergency where you can’t make decisions for yourself, or have to enter a nursing home, your family will likely have to go to court in order to gain the authority to make decisions, or may fight amongst themselves about what you would have wanted….your wealth may be lost to court fees, long-term care, or taxes.
There are many different types of trusts, including:
Revocable trusts – A flexible trust option, where the terms of the trust can be changed during your lifetime
Irrevocable trusts – A non-flexible trust option, but one that may provide more tax protection
Special needs trusts – Designed to provide for dependents who have disabilities or special needs
Medicaid planning trusts – Designed to shield assets from government aid eligibility requirements
Charitable trusts – Designed to give or leave assets to charitable causes
Why Work With Our Jackson Will And Trust Lawyers?
What type of will and trust you should have depends on your unique goals and financial situation. Our knowledgeable Jackson will and trust lawyers are intimately familiar with the ins and outs of estate planning and probate law in California, and we can draft customized documents that will effectively safeguard what matters most to you! In our firm’s 21 years of experience, we’ve served over 7,000 clients. We will invite you into the process and explain all of your options without using confusing legal jargon. Your future is our top priority!
Call Equal Justice Law Group Today
No one, no matter how young or healthy or wealthy, is guaranteed tomorrow. Call our Jackson will and trust lawyers now to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, get your questions answered, and ultimately get peace of mind!
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Jackson, CA Practice Areas
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