Historically, estate planning has been reserved for the wealthy who can afford to hire attorneys to write the documents in a foreign language called “legalese” for them. The middle class has been largely left out of participating in this service and therefore forced to go through the expensive and stressful experience of Probate court. As technology and knowledge advance, so too should access to this information. That is why we created Your Legacy Lives — to share the wealth of information surrounding estate planning and empower you to take control of your personal, medical, and financial decisions. You have the ability to create an estate plan, use legal terms powerfully, and avoid being controlled by the probate court system.

What is Probate and why it’s bad?

The probate court was created to “protect us” from the bad people who might, like vultures, descend upon us and our families during a time of crisis and steal our assets.  So the court freezes our financial accounts until the court order is obtained.  That means no one has access to our much needed bank accounts for several weeks to several months.  Fortunately, most of us are not surrounded by “vultures” and trust our loved ones more than the court system.  Probate is public (not private), takes a long time (over a year on average) and can be very expensive.  A typical probate for a $700,000 family home in Alameda, California would cost about $36,000.  The probate court requires certain procedures be followed which doesn’t allow for flexibility.  For example, in probate we are forced to refinance mortgages at a time where it may not be possible or advantageous to do so.

What happens if I don’t have an Estate Plan?

Without an estate plan, a judge makes the financial and legal decisions for you and your loved ones when you aren’t able!  Without obtaining a court order, current state and federal privacy laws do not allow for your loved ones to talk to your doctor, let alone make medical decisions for you if you are incapable. Often, incapacity is triggered by an “accident” which can result in your receiving a large financial settlement. Most of us would not want the probate court in charge of our spending and investment decisions, especially not for the rest of our life.

Why do I need Estate Planning?

If you are 18 years of age and have a body, you have enough to plan your estate! Estate planning ensures that your personal, medical  and financial affairs are in order in the event of your death or incapacity. Estate planning allows you to control your money, control your medical decisions, plan for the care of your children, keep your personal affairs private, and empower yourself and your loved ones to be prepared for life’s uncertainties. 
Why choose Your Legacy Lives?
Your Legacy Lives was developed specifically for people like you — average people with no legal training who care about their families and want to protect them but may not have the financial resources necessary to pay for attorney fees.

We listened to what stops people from creating estate plans and designed our system specifically to address those needs. Your Legacy Lives was designed to help people overcome common barriers to creating estate plans such as:      

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Worried about expenses?

Procrastinating?

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No legal background?

Not enough time?

  • Not enough money? Your Legacy Lives is affordable! Our estate plans are about 1/3 of what you would pay to hire a lawyer to draft your estate plan. NOT creating an estate plan is even more costly! Without a plan, you could be paying up to $36,000 in probate fees (a typical house in Alameda). 
  • Are you a procrastinator? We know how busy life can get. That is why our program sends you weekly email reminders to complete the handful of documents each week until your plan is complete. We also have you draft the easiest documents first, building your confidence as you navigate through. Creating an estate plan is crucial to you and your family’s peace of mind. Completing your plan is our priority. 
  • Our program is simple, easy-to-use, and offers step-by-step instructions. Using our trusted, easy to understand, and effective documents empowers you and your loved ones to take control of your life.
  • Worried you won’t do it right? Your peace of mind is important to us. At any time during the estate planning process, legal experts are available for hire to assist you if needed. From our site, you can hire a paralegal to review your documents, or an attorney to give you legal advice.  If you ever have any technical difficulties, click on the technical support button for help.