Writing your will might be the last thing on your to-do list, but in reality, it's extremely important to do so, particularly if you have children along with any assets to your name. Writing a will includes answering some tough questions: What will happen to your family? What will happen to your assets? Writing your will should begin with a visit to an experienced California probate attorney.
Below are five myths about writing a will.
- It will always keep your estate out of probate.
Usually, your loved ones will have to go through probate in order to distribute your assets, in which case, they must hire an attorney to help them through the process which can be lengthy and expensive. Talk to your lawyer about certain ways to avoid probate.
- It will protect your health
While this depends on the state, if you need major medical treatment and cannot communicate, your spouse or parent can't make healthcare decisions for you? A living will and health care power of attorney, however, will allow you to express your medical preferences in the event you are unable to communicate your wishes. The power of attorney for healthcare allows you to assign a person who can make end-of-life care decisions for you.
- It updates itself
Once you've written a will, you must keep it updated as your assets change. Be sure to review it regularly to ensure that your executor and beneficiaries are correct. If you have a major life change, chances are, your will should reflect that.
- It's the best way to transfer your business
While you can transfer a business through a will, it might not always be the best way. If you're looking to limit extra fees, such as gift and estate taxes, there might be another strategy to consider.
- It doesn't cost your estate money
As mentioned above, an attorney should be hired by your heirs if your will goes through probate, which happens often. Generally, the administration of your state will cost money and the proceeds from a life insurance policy can help offset these costs.
A California probate attorney can aid you in making the best decisions for your loved ones in the event of your passing, so it's important to find one experienced in the industry. Keep in mind that there is more than meets the eye when writing a will, so speaking to a skilled attorney is the best course of action to ensure that everything is properly taken care of.