If you are thinking about the future, you may want to make an estate plan. But printing out a few forms from a random estate planning website could be a very bad decision. Instead, take the time to customize your estate plan to your individual circumstances.
What’s Wrong with Using a Form?
Just because estate planning forms are widely available on the Internet does not mean you should use them. These forms simply do not take into account what makes your life unique from other people’s. There is little ability to customize a form or add in special information. The forms you find may not even cover the exact kind of inheritance you want to leave.
Plus, you have no way of knowing whether an online form includes the right language. Estate planning laws vary from state to state – and even more so from country to country. The laws change over time too. As a result, the form you print out could have fatal problems that make it unenforceable in your state. Or it might omit instructions on how to properly sign the document and have it witnessed if required. At that point, you might as well have not signed it in the first place.
Making a Customized Estate Plan
Instead of going with a pre-printed form, opt for a customized estate plan made by a qualified California lawyer. Your lawyer should take the time to go over all the little details with you, so that you have peace of mind about your estate.
The estate plan could include a will, a trust, an advance health care directive or living will, a financial power of attorney, or other estate planning structures depending on your situation. You may want to build in special kinds of planning for a child with a disability, a beloved pet, or gifts to charity. The plan could even help you achieve retirement goals or save for your children’s college education.
If you are interested in a customized, legally enforceable estate plan, reach out to a lawyer in your local area today. When you speak to the lawyer, share information about your life and be honest about your circumstances. For example, you could talk candidly about previous marriages, debts, and financial problems. This information will help the lawyer to tailor your estate plan – by, for example, specifically excluding an ex-spouse from inheriting by the will. Reach out to a lawyer today to get started.
Planning your estate? Look to Janet Brewer, Esq. for thorough and thoughtful estate planning advice. Janet’s more than 20 years of legal experience will give you confidence and peace of mind. To schedule a “Get Acquainted” meeting, visit Janet's website or call her office at (650) 469-8206.