Do I Need A Will To Protect My Legacy?

Many people delay drafting a last will and testament for a variety of reasons. It is difficult to think about mortality. Some individuals put off creating a will or an estate plan in the belief that it is too early — a common misperception people have is that it is unnecessary to write a will unless there are substantial assets involved. Wealthy individuals tend to overlook a will, contemplating creating a trust to protect assets and avoid probate. The truth of the matter is that a will is an effective estate planning tool that can benefit your family should the unexpected occur.

Wills Address Asset Distribution And More

A common consideration addressed in your will is memorializing how you want your assets to be distributed should you pass away. Creating a solid document can give you peace of mind that your true wishes will be carried out, relieving your family of the strife probate and estate administration litigation can create. A well-drafted will is essential for documenting your desires for distribution of assets and protecting your heirs from unnecessary disputes and costs when you pass away,

At Bryan • Hinshaw in San Francisco, California, our integrated estate planning, real estate, business and family law practice is well-positioned to guide you through the estate planning process. Our goal is to create the proper estate planning tools that serve the real-world needs of our clients. We will fully evaluate your unique family structure, your assets and your goals and explain the tools that best suit your needs. Getting started on an estate plan should include gaining a full understanding of the various tools that are used for specific results.

A last will and testament is an effective tool that is generally designed to allow you to express how your assets should be distributed. However, for parent of minor children, you can use a will to designate the person who you want to serve as guardian (or in many cases the couple to serve as guardians) of your children should you pass away.

In addition to a simple will, we can explain the benefits of the most common estate planning tools to protect your family should the unexpected occur, such as:

  • Pour-over wills: This document is commonly used in a complex estate plan that includes one or more trusts to address any assets that are not held in trust and will not transfer under a payable-on-death designation or through established rights of survivorship in the title to property.
  • Advance directive to physicians: A living will allows you to express your desires concerning the use of life support or other extraordinary means to keep you alive should you be unable to communicate your medical desires. An advance directive can also express your wishes concerning the type of facility you wish to enter should you need extended care.
  • Durable power of attorney for health care: This document allows you to name the person you want to make important health care decisions on your behalf should you be unable to make informed decisions due to a medical disability.
  • Financial power of attorney: You can create a power of attorney for property to authorize a person or agent you trust to manage your financial affairs should you become unable to do so.

Turn To More Than 80 Years Of Combined Experience For Peace Of Mind

The experienced lawyers at Bryan • Hinshaw advise a diverse range of individuals in all walks of life. Young professionals, parents with children, same-sex couples, individuals and business owners can benefit from creating an estate plan. Our interrelated practice areas allow us to craft legal strategies to serve the interests of each client that are tailored to his or her unique circumstances and goals.

Find Out How A Will Can Benefit Your Loved Ones

We believe that having access to effective, tailored and affordable estate planning assistance is vital to your family's peace of mind. To arrange an interview or a paid consultation to discuss your estate planning needs, send us a message online or call 415-906-3085. Our office is conveniently located in the financial district of downtown San Francisco, and we serve clients throughout the Bay Area.