An estate planning attorney in Utah 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:
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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
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.
Wills and Trusts are both legal documents that protect an individual’s final wishes regarding how his personal property will be distributed in the event of his death, and are a common part of elder law. While both documents are similar in nature, there are differences in the details that most people should have a thorough understanding of before deciding which one best suits their situation.
Individuals Can Manage Their Affairs with Living Trusts
Living Trusts are used to manage any property and assets that an individual owns during their lifetime. These can be altered at any time during the lifetime of the person that created the trust and will only become final in the event of their death. These documents are commonly drafted by lawyers who specialize in elder law. The individual that is creating a trust has the ability to manage his own trust as long as he is deemed to be mentally and physically competent. In the event that this person is no longer willing or able to manage his own Trust, a previously chosen Trustee is granted permission to make all decisions from this time forward.
Living Trusts are not subject to probate proceedings and courts will not automatically supervise disputes among beneficiaries. There are no public records for trusts, and the details remain private. Trusts often cost quite a bit more to prepare and manage, but the savings will be apparent when the estate is not subjected to probate proceedings.
Wills Are an Economical Option for Many People
Wills are legal documents that have been drafted by estate planning attorneys and allow individuals to designate specific beneficiaries that will inherit specific property. Wills are often used in conjunction with a Living Trust, serving as a dictation for dispensing any assets that were not included in the Living Trust.
In the event that a Will has protected an estate, the property will have to go through the probate process. While Wills are legally binding, they are still subject to probate proceedings. The terms within the Will that have been set forth by the individual who had it drafted may be viewed by the court as a list of suggestions rather than a set of instructions. The court makes the final decision regarding all final wishes. The probate proceedings include any and all disputes that are filed by beneficiaries and creditors. If an individual chooses to draft a Will, they must also have a designated power of attorney or conservatorship to manage their property and assets. In addition to requiring another appointed position, they may also cost more money in the end. Initially, Wills cost less than trusts, but the money it takes to go through the probate process can end up costing the beneficiaries more money than the original grantor saved by opting out of a Living Trust.
Estate Planning Attorneys Can Determine What Is Right for Their Clients
By having estate planning attorneys carefully analyze each situation before drafting these documents, many people can avoid situations in which their inheritance is the subject of a dispute. Estate planning attorneys are experienced in guiding their clients through the legal system, and hiring them may be the best step in preventing litigation attorneys from moving in to dispute the validity of their final wishes. Seeking the advice of estate planning attorneys as to which documents should be used to represent the best interests of both the client and their loved ones is an important aspect of planning for the future. Wills and Trusts should always be prepared by a legal professional in order to minimize the chances of conflicts arising due to misinterpretation.
A specialist in estate planning brings experience and expertise to the table. But what many people fail to realize is that with this level of experience and know-how also brings with it many unforeseen benefits. For example, and as mentioned previously, the landscape of estate and tax law can be difficult to navigate. New federal mandates and complicated tax laws make passing your assets to your loved ones a sometimes difficult and costly process.
An estate planning attorney understands this, and knows how to navigate the system in ways that would best work to your advantage.
• An estate attorney can counsel you on ways that you can avoid paying an estate tax on part of your estate. The current estate tax rate is 45%, and that rate can even be increased by such things as ‘skipping’ a generation when giving away part of your assets. Consequently, a 45%+ decrease in your personal wealth will mean less of your hard-earned money that your family will be able to keep.
• An estate attorney can guide you through the various instruments available to you to bequeath your assets. He or she can explain the difference between a Will and a trust, and offer you expert advice on which would work best for you and your loved ones based on your individual situations.
• An estate planning attorney can keep you informed about recent changes in law that might affect your personal wealth.
For example, he or she would be able to enlighten you on such things as FDIC insurance, how it has been recently raised, and what that means for your estate planning goals. Many people, when choosing whether or not to hire an attorney for their estate planning needs, worry that the cost of a lawyer would be too much. In truth, decisions regarding your personal wealth and your family’s future are some of the most important decisions you can make, and an area of concern in which you can’t afford not to have the best advice and expertise. Whether your planning goals are immediate or long-term, a qualified Cottonwood Heights estate planning attorney will be able to counsel you on the best options available to you to meet your individual needs.
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.
Working With an Estate Planning Attorney
An estate planning attorney can help a client, at any age and stage of life, to prepare for and document their wishes for their assets in the event of their death. He or she is a part of a team of professional advisers who learn and execute their client’s aspirations to transfer their property (monetary, heirlooms, transportation, and homes) in their estate to the members of their family, business, and community. The team of professionals includes the lawyer, an informed financial planner to help determine disbursement of financial assets, and a life insurance adviser to make sure of the client’s wishes are carried out, which includes fulfilling the policy with a payout from the insurance company. A banker may assist with many, large, or delinquent accounts, and a broker would be involved when home ownership, multiple homes, or foreclosures are applicable. Not all clients work with this large of a professional adviser team, but they all can benefit from an estate planning attorney’s assistance with the 7 main documents of the post-life asset preparation.
The main documents of estate planning are wills, health care proxy, power of attorney, deeds with life estates and realty trusts, revocable and irrevocable trusts, gift giving plans, and asset protection plans. The will is the primary document in which one or more persons are chosen to distribute and receive the contents of the deceased’s estate. And although the health care proxy term is occasionally used interchangeably with power of attorney, the proxy is limited to carrying out the ill’s medical concerns during hospital stays, such as feeding tubes and reviving the person. The individual(s) identified in the power of attorney document, known as the agent, can actually represent the ill or deceased in all business, legal, and health concerns. Because many deaths of the elderly are not sudden but are the result of failing health, it is a great idea to have all of these documents in place before the event of one’s passing away.
Many people don’t think that it is important to make plans for the preparation of their passing. They don’t want to think about their funeral, their life insurance payout, or their beneficiaries because they either don’t want to focus on not being here or they just think that it will be simple to leave their property to their children. The problem is it is not always that straightforward.
A qualified Estate Planning Attorney can adequately advise them on these decisions.
Individuals who are considering drafting a trust or a will may wish to consult with an estate planning lawyer. He or she can explain the advantages of using a trust as well as a will. He or she can make recommendations based on the specific considerations of the client. He or she may even recommend using both documents, such as by using a pour-over will that places any property owned at the time of the testator’s death into the trust.