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Why Do I Need An Estate Planning Attorney

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If you believe estate planning is something you can do on a do-it-yourself basis, you might want to think again. The estate tax relief legislation of December 2010 raised the value of property that could be left free of estate tax by an individual to $5 million adjusted for inflation each year. Another crucial change involved reducing the highest federal estate tax rate to 40 percent.

As a result, an increasing number of people want to avoid paying for the services of an attorney for this type of law. What they don’t realize is that estate planning is a complex business. All it takes is a single missing signature or incorrect word to alter a will or trust’s entire content. Keep reading to discover three compelling reasons why it is necessary to hire an attorney for estate planning.

Specific State Laws

Every state has its own laws when it comes to determining who can and can’t be in a trust, will, medical power of attorney, or financial power of attorney. There are also differences between the formalities that need to be observed when signing an estate planning document. What is required in Utah may not be necessary in Ohio and vice versa.

For example, some states require a personal representative to be related by marriage or blood, or else they need to be a resident of the state. Failure to meet the above criteria means that individual will not be allowed to serve as personal representative.

Caveat Emptor

This is an old Latin saying that means “buyer beware.” The evolution of the Internet has led to a plethora of legal documents easily available online. This may make legal representation appear unnecessary. The trouble is that you can fill in your online forms quite happily, only to discover that part or all of your trust, will, financial power of attorney, or medical power of attorney is either invalid or doesn’t work as you expected. If this happens, your family may need to pay thousands of dollars to fix the mistake and will end up hiring an estate planning attorney in any case!

Complexity

As we mentioned above, estate planning is a complex business, and if you own a business, are in your second marriage, have no children or children who are still minors, want to leave money to charity, or have real estate in another state, you will need the advice of an estate planning attorney. Indeed, there are dozens of other situations not outlined above where things can get complicated quickly. Regardless of how much research you have performed, you are likely to be lacking legal expertise, and this could prove costly. If you are unwilling to pay for an estate planning attorney in a bid to save money, it is likely your family will spend 3-5 times more money on the back-end. In order to make things easier for your loved ones and to alleviate any stress you may feel, get in touch with a trustworthy real estate attorney today.

Personal property needs the best handling and protection no matter how big or small. If you have a large zone of property or assets, it is important to manage it properly. When you have a big amount of land or goods, there is almost always someone watching and waiting to take advantage. This is why it is good to have a successful game plan. An estate planning attorney can help these plans to work out to your best advantage. Everyone needs assistance sometimes with making important decisions. A lawyer can be that person to offer guidance to you about your most precious belongings.

Smart strategizing can be used to avoid spending money the wrong way and on the wrong people. Lawyers are professionals that can carefully explain your best options when it comes to your assets. Starting a trust can be one way to protect your money. When funds are not protected they can easily end up in undeserving hands. The truth is that you can set certain rules as to who and where your valuables go. You can have it your way. A trust stores your money or property safely until it is somehow granted to the recipient. The sooner these plans are made, the quicker money and land can be tucked away before it is blown for the wrong reasons.

An estate planning attorney is definitely beneficial to those who have many important things to protect. Divorce is a process that can indeed get tricky. Ex-wives and husbands often look for all that they can get during a split. Sometimes, they try to obtain more than what is due to them. With the right guidance this can definitely be prevented. Money that is overspent can instead be spent on the future. Perhaps trust money can someday be granted to children or grandchildren. You will find peace of mind knowing that your treasures will be purposefully used.

Most people don’t always consider what might happen to their assets once they have passed on. An estate planning attorney can help you to figure out your plans ahead of time. A living will can determine which family members will receive what treasures when you have passed on. This process simply will give your loved ones all the clarity they need when the time comes. There are many families who fight over land and funds once the matriarch or patriarch has passed on. This often happens when there is no structure or careful planning ahead of time. By starting a living will you will know exactly who will get what.

Guidance can really make a difference if you are unsure about the future of your possessions. With so many people out to get your money, the ultimate security is needed at all times. An estate planning attorney is skilled in all the right ways to help you sensibly govern your belongings in the present as well as the future. To start the most important strategizing of your life, you should consult a lawyer.

How To Find A Good Estate Planning Attorney

An estate planning attorney is a professional who helps clients to create legal documents that are used to govern what will happen to their personal estate/ property when they die. One of the most popular documents that they help a person write out is a will. They can however create other documents depending on the needs of their clients. If you ever need the services of such an attorney, it is important to find the best in the industry so that you can benefit from top notch services. Some of the most important things to consider include:

  1. Experience

You want to work with a professional who has been in the estate planning industry for a long time. This is because they have probably mastered the techniques that are used to offer top notch services owing to the number of clients they have worked with before. If possible you can ask for a list of some of the names that they have worked with before. Contact some of them to find out the kind of experience they had when they were working with the attorney. This will assist you make an informed decision on whether to go ahead and hire them or not.

  1. Personalized service

You should only work with an estate planning attorney who offers personalized service as this is the only way that you will have a good working relationship with the attorney. Look for one who responds personally to all your queries instead of sending someone else as this shows that they don’t have time for you. The professional should also have different avenues that you can reach them through so that clients can choose the one that is most convenient for them. This also helps the clients to feel special and appreciated as they reveal information about their personal effects to a stranger.

  1. Strong ethics

Estate planning is a very sensitive issue that needs to be addressed with a lot of seriousness. This is mainly because the client will not be around to see whether their wills will be governed the way they wished. This implies that it is important to find an attorney with strong personal ethics and integrity. You can tell a lot though interacting with the lawyer to see if they are the best persons for the job. For instance, a person who is not willing to tell you about how they operate will probably not offer the best services.

  1. Cost

An estate planning attorney does not come cheap. You should therefore be prepared to pay premium for their services to get the estate created, updated and maintained by a respected and an experienced attorney. Why you may ask? Some say that good things don’t come cheap while others will say that you are paying for the expertise they have collected for the years they have been working in the industry to offer high quality services. It is therefore important to carry out some research to find out the cost of various attorneys to find the one that has the most reasonable rates that will not dent a hole in your wallet.

The Importance of Estate Planning Attorneys In Protecting Assets

The only way to ensure that your belongings are appropriately distributed according to your wishes after death is to leave behind an airtight plan. Estate planning helps eliminate uncertainties surrounding estate distribution and attempts to maximize value by reducing taxes and expenses. Ultimately, the format, length, and content of your plan will depend on your specific goals and needs. Estate planning attorneys are available to aid you in this process. Large estates typically result in more complicated preparation, but regardless of its size the following tips will help you make sure your assets are divided according to your wishes.

You need to keep all of your documents and information up to date. Your will or trust can be invalidated by a number of major life events, including marriage, divorce, relocation, and the birth of a child. You should also be aware of changes in laws and regulations. Keep your personal and legal information as current as possible. Your lawyer should regularly review your will or trust to make sure it is legally binding. Despite how clearly you convey your intentions for your belongings, it takes a trained eye to make sure your legal bases are covered.

Next, check all policies and accounts and learn the listed beneficiaries for your IRAs, qualified plans, and life insurance policies. The beneficiary you listed upon opening these accounts may no longer be the person to whom you’d like to leave these assets. Changing the beneficiary simply requires some paperwork; however, if you have a lawyer, always consult for legal advice before adjusting your plan estate.

You also need to maximize the liquidity of your physical assets and monitor your investment risk. Liquidity refers to the amount of time and effort required to turn your assets into cash. Illiquid assets are substantially more difficult and expense to sell. Sadly, death will bring all sorts of expenses to your family members, including taxes and funerary costs. Make you sure you leave them quick access to sufficient cash, even if it is through liquidation.

Naming a dependable executor is one of the most important aspects of estate planning. Most people choose an executor from qualified estate planning attorneys while some to choose to elect a trusted family member. Your trustee will handle collecting your assets, paying debts and obligations, and distributing your assets according to your wishes. You need to select someone who is knowledgeable about estate law, and can be trusted. Considering training and experience, estate planning attorneys are your best option for the position of executor. You need someone who can work at a distance from the situation, and isn’t emotionally invested in the outcome of estate allocation.

Make sure you consider the character and personality of each person for whom you intend to leave something behind. If you’re the parent of a minor, be aware that individual you choose for guardianship of your child doesn’t necessarily have to manage that child’s trust. You can name a guardian for your child, and place someone else in charge of money management. Likewise, if you have a teen or family member who is notoriously irresponsible financially, you can put a money management system in place. Each situation is different, which is why estate planning attorneys are so important.

How Estate Planning Attorneys Can Help Your Family

Planning what happens after your death can help your family dramatically. Once you’re gone, there are a number of things surviving family members will have to think of from planning a service to burial arrangements. Instead of leaving it all to chance, consider working with estate planning attorneys to ensure everything is taken care of before it’s needed.

A Will Ensures Assets Are Distributed And Children Are Taken Care Of

For a long time, it was thought that only wealthy people needed wills. However, everyone should have one. Many people have assets such as a car, home, savings account and more. Having this important document drawn up lets your family know what should happen with these matters after you’ve passed. Although you’ll be gone, a professionally executed will can eliminate bickering and negative feelings among your bereaved friends and family.

If you have minor children, it’s a definite must. This legal document will spell out what should happen to your children if you die. Without such, your children could find themselves in the middle of a custody battle between relatives, be placed in foster care, or end up with a relative who may be uncomfortable acting as their guardian.

A Living Will Ensures Your Medical Wishes Are Followed

A living will is a much different type of document. A living will, also known as an advanced medical directive, spells out what you want to happen in the event that you become too sick or incapacitated to make decisions for yourself. You can also appoint someone to act as your medical power of attorney, which is the person responsible for medical decisions in the event that you’re unable to make them for yourself. Many states have outlined statutes that determine when an advanced medical directive goes into effect. If you’re unsure about what’s best for you, contact estate lawyers in your area and ask for advice.

Ask Estate Attorneys About Trusts: They're Not Just for the Wealthy

A trust fund conjures up images of wealthy young people who’ve never worked a day in their life, but this is a complete stereotype. Anyone with assets to pass on can create a trust for a relative. Estate planning attorneys can explain trusts in greater detail but, basically, a trust provides the deceased with the ability to determine how money is to be spent after they’re gone. Trusts are the perfect solution if you want to ensure that your beneficiaries finish college before the money is distributed or if you want to space out the distributions so the beneficiary isn’t provided with one large lump sum of cash.

These documents aren’t the only ones that estate lawyers can help with. Make a list of your assets and then talk with estate attorneys to see which documents they recommend for your specific situation. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for estate planning. Attorneys who help with this specific type of planning for the future should be consulted before making any decision that affects your relatives.

 

 

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