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Wills And Estate Plans

It can be difficult to think about planning for a future that has not happened yet, but the time you spend doing it now will yield big benefits in the future. You will never regret drafting a will now, but your family may have huge regrets if a will is not in place before you pass. Many people do not take the time to draft wills because they do not understand the benefits of having a will.

At Charles Vincent & Associates, in Eugene, Oregon, looking out for our clients' interests is our top priority. We not only take care of their immediate legal concerns, but we also look out for their interests in the years to come. Helping our clients develop an estate plan is part of that work.

The Benefits Of Having A Will

The fundamental purpose of a will is to ensure that your wishes for the distribution of your assets and possessions are followed after you pass away. When a person dies without having a will, the person is said to have died intestate. Intestacy laws dictate that everything belonging to the person goes through a formal court process known as probate.

Assets in probate are distributed by the courts, instead of being determined by you as documented in your will. The probate process itself can be very long and quite expensive. Probate costs are covered by the estate; if there are insufficient funds in an estate to cover the costs of probate administration, assets from the estate may be sold.

When you have a will in place, your assets quickly pass through probate and are distributed by someone who is appointed as executor of your estate. It is the executor's job to carry out the terms of the will.

Having clear direction for your assets and possessions not only ensures they are handled the way you would want them handled, but it will also save money. The cost of administering a will is substantially less than handling an intestate estate.

Does Everything Go Through Probate?

After you pass away there are certain items that will not go through probate:

  • Joint assets — Jointly held assets, such as a house, do not become part of the estate because the other owner simply absorbs the entire interest in the home.
  • Retirement accounts — Retirement accounts should have a beneficiary designation. When a person passes away, the beneficiary of the retirement account is entitled to the proceeds from that account.
  • Insurance policies — Like retirement accounts, insurance policies have designated beneficiaries. Once a person passes, the beneficiary or beneficiaries of the life insurance policy are entitled to receive the cash value of the insurance policy.
  • Trust assets — A trust is something that is created to hold something for the benefit of another. There are several different types of trusts, such as revocable living trusts. The assets that are placed in a trust do not go through probate once a person dies.

When To Create/Update A Will

You do not need to have a significant amount of assets to have a will. A will should be created as soon as you have assets to pass along. As your life changes and you accumulate more assets, your will should be periodically updated. People sometimes update their wills every five to 10 years, depending on their assets.

It is also important to update a will when you go through major life events, such as marriage, divorce or the birth of a child. Our lawyers form relationships with our clients. A client may come to us for help with a family law issue and consult with us for help with drafting or updating a will once the family law issue has been resolved.

What We Can Do For You

Our lawyers are here to provide guidance for you throughout your life. We can help you with a will, advance health care directive, power of attorney or other essential estate planning document to ensure that your wishes are carried out.

Contact our office today to schedule an appointment with an attorney to discuss your estate planning needs. Call us at 541-687-6765 or reach us online. We represent clients throughout Eugene, Springfield and southern Oregon.

Contact Information

Charles Vincent & Associates
1200 Executive Parkway
Suite 310
Eugene, OR 97401
Phone: (541) 687-6765
Fax: (541) 393-0726
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Coos Bay Office
590 Commercial Ave
Coos Bay, OR 97420
Phone: (541) 888-9071
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