Estate planning is the process of managing and parceling out an estate to reduce the taxes owed and to transfer assets to beneficiaries after someone dies. The goal being that all of your financial wishes are met upon your death and are not determined by a court.
You plan your estate through legal entities like trusts, wills, powers of attorney, health care surrogacies, etc. These are critical legal tools that will help your spouse and your family after you die and avoid having your estate go into probate and be settled by a judge. When you begin to make a plan, you will want to go through an attorney to make sure that all of the requirements are in order for your final wishes to be carried out appropriately as per the laws in your particular state. There are some things you can do to prepare to meet with your estate planning attorney.
The first of these is to get your documents in order. You will want the names and addresses of all parties that are associated with your assets. Bank account information, pension and retirement plans, insurance information, household inventory lists, debt list, etc. are all things you will want to bring to a meeting with your estate planning attorney. You want to provide as much information as possible so they can prepare your estate plan as well as possible.
When seeking out an estate attorney, there are some things you will want to ask. You will need to know how much they charge for their services, how best to reduce your tax requirement after death, are there any apparent problems with your wishes, are arrangements in order for children, and how often should my will be updated? These are all things you will want to cover initially before beginning your plan.
Where To Find An Estate Attorney
One of the best ways to begin finding an estate attorney is through references. Ask family members and friends who they would recommend. Other people you use can be of help to such as financial advisors, accountants, attorneys you have used in the past, or contact the local bar association. Advertisements can provide information on estate planning attorneys but make sure you ask all the questions you need to before settling on someone to use. You can also do research online and visit websites of estate attorneys in your area. Good attorneys will have a site that will explain the estate planning process and might even have testimonials from happy clients.
You will want to make sure that your estate is planned for and that your wealth, no matter how small, is distributed as you want it to be upon your death. At a minimum, people should plan for a power of attorney and have a will to ensure that you and your assets are properly planned for when the time comes to divide up your estate. An attorney that specializes in estate planning attorney is the best choice for this job.
Acquiring your own estate planning attorney can prove to be a simple venture as per the aforementioned factors and there are an ample amount of benefits that are associated with acquiring your own personal estate planning attorney. Although there is a myth that estate planning will only benefit those of an affluent nature, every individual throughout the nation will have the ability to reap the benefits of estate planning. If for no other reason than to make things go smoothly for your spouse and family.
One of the largest benefits of having a plan are reduced estate taxes. Considering that you will be provided with the opportunity to gift assets such as stocks or gifting interests that are related to corporations, this will enable you to lower the value of your estate. Due to the fact that once these assets are gifted, they can no longer be held against the value of the estate, the property taxes will inevitably decrease.
Another benefit to acquiring an attorney for your estate needs is that it will provide individuals with the opportunity to keep their family members from having to spend a copious amount of money relating to taxes, litigation expenses, and other unnecessary expenses that may arise. With the opportunity to discuss your estate planning with a certified lawyer you will be able to ensure that all extra costs will not affect those within your family.
But the biggest benefit is the peace of mind having a complete estate plan will bring. Knowing your spouse and family are cared for and won’t have to deal with sticky legal issues is by far the biggest benefit.
As previously mentioned, estate planning enables the individual to ensure that particular individuals receive certain assets that you may have. With the use of a proper will and other legal documents you will be able to specify which individuals will be the rightful heirs and which individuals will receive other assets that you wish to delegate amongst your family. With the opportunity to legally determine who receives which asset you can rest assured that all belongings will be separated equally throughout your family or in whatever fashion you desire.
Many people believe that estate planning is something done only by the wealthy or by the elderly. The fact is, this could not be further from the truth. Whether you are young or old, it is important to meet with estate planning attorneys so you can have your affairs in order in case something goes wrong. When most people think of estate planning, they think of making a will. It is true, of course, that planning attorneys assist with the creation of a valid will that will stand up in court and that will prevent your heirs from fighting over your assets and possessions at the time of your death. However, estate attorneys do much more than simply help you to draft a will.
Estate planning attorneys can recommend comprehensive strategies to help you to protect your assets and your wealth not only from being subject to high estate taxes but also from being lost if you become ill or incapacitated. Estate planning attorneys can do this by helping you to create trusts to protect your assets, or by helping you to make appropriate plans for long-term care insurance. Estate planning attorneys will also help to make sure that you are taken care of if something happens to you so you are not at the mercy of family members to act on your behalf during their time of grief. Some of the different things that estate planning attorneys can do that you may not be aware of include:
If you are ever unable to speak for yourself or to access your own bank accounts or manage your own money, you will need to have a trusted person doing these things for you. If you do not name a power of attorney, your family may be unable to access your bank accounts or to make decisions on your behalf without getting a court order granting them the right to do so. Don’t put your family through this, and don’t leave the handling of your affairs to chance. Establish a power of attorney so that someone you trust looks out for you when you no longer can.
One of the most important things that an estate attorney will do for you is help you to establish a living will. A living will is a document that specifies what will happen if you suffer a medical emergency and need life-saving medical care. In your living will, you can specify what extraordinary measures- if any- you want used to help save or extend your life. If you do not want to put your family into a situation where they have to “pull the plug,” so to speak, or if you want to make sure you control your own death and maintain your dignity, you need a living will.
While wills and trusts are partially about determining who gets your assets after your death, you will also need to specify other things like who should be guardian of your kids or who will look after your pets. Estate planning attorneys help you to make sure these important issues are taken care of.
The job of finding an attorney to help you build a solid estate plan can seem like a daunting task. However, with a pre-plan and some help you should be able to find a selection of highly qualified candidates for your consideration. Let’s take a look at a list of seven tips for finding a good estate planning attorney.
You have worked hard to get the possessions that you have at the moment — homes, cars, investments, personal belongings. Naturally, you want these properties to be passed on to your loved ones and in accordance with your wishes. By obtaining the services of an experienced and trusted estate planning attorney, you can be assured that your estate will go to your intended heirs. With careful planning, these properties, which you worked hard for, will redound to their benefit.
Don’t commit the same mistake that most people make. With an attorney’s help, you can avert the following serious legal blunders. Most people think estate planning is only for the rich and affluent. This is a common misconception. This type of planning is all about making preparations for the distribution of all the properties of the estate. If you think about it, virtually everybody owns properties; it isn’t just the rich and famous that have assets. Moreover, the term properties covers everything; from money to personal belongings such as photographs, books, furniture and more. The term isn’t limited to jewelry, expensive cars, and real estate.
Regardless of financial status or capabilities, everyone has assets that need to be distributed to loved ones at the point of death. Thus, acquiring the services of an estate planning attorney will redound to you and your loved ones’ benefit. He or she can help ensure that your estate will be passed on to your intended beneficiaries.
Executing a will is a bit more complicated than what we know. So take time to sit down and discuss your plans with an attorney, so the latter can help you process these legal matters. Moreover, you can confer with the attorney regarding other options like creating a trust, which can facilitate the transfer of assets.
Seek legal help for your estate planning. For people untrained in the field of probate law, it is not advisable to create an estate plan all by yourself. Thus, seeking the help of a probate attorney is your best course of action to ensure the validity of your will and testament.
Think about your loved ones’ welfare. Would you want your estate to go to persons other than your intended beneficiaries? Don’t take risks at the expense of their hereditary rights. Take steps to ensure that your estate passes on to them. Consult Ascent Law Firm estate planning attorney and discuss your plans regarding the properties of your estate.