A “Cheap” Will
The economy stinks and most of us are afraid to spend our money. Spending money on lawyers is the last thing we want to do right now. OK, but you need to have a Will. What happens if you don’t have one? If you don’t have a Will when you die, the State of California has one for you, but it probably doesn’t do with your property what you want done. It certainly will not be inexpensive to your family.
People ask me if I can prepare just a “simple Will”? Some clients equate “simple” with “cheap.” I do have a Simple Will Package, but what that means is it is as simple as they need to be to cover the needs of the family and provide the necessary protection. Sometimes you can change title to your assets so they do not even pass through the Will, thereby avoiding probate costs. Now that is simple! BUT don’t be lured into thinking that simple is always best. Depending on your particular circumstances you may need to use a more advanced Estate Planning technique such as a trust. I offer affordable Estate Planning Consultations so you can find out what your best options are.
Here is how to think about it. How much do you pay for your car payment and insurance each year? I bet the cost of estate planning, including a Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Advance Directive, and Living Will is less than the cost of a few months of car payments and insurance. If you need a trust, then the cost is much less than what the expenses to your family will be after you are gone if they have to go through probate.
And remember, you pay for car insurance every year. Your estate planning needs to be done once, and then updated only when there are major changes to the law or changes in your family. Now, which is more valuable? Your spouse and kids, or your car? You wouldn’t go without car insurance, so why should you go without a Will or other proper planning?