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Find the Right Estate Planning Lawyer

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Estate Planning
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Hiring the Right Estate Planning Lawyer

If you are seeking to draft or review a will, establish a trust, litigate a probate matter, or are just looking for legal advice about your estate planning needs, we recommend that you speak with a lawyer. An attorney can help you understand the important legal concepts and ramifications surrounding your issue, and give you advice about a recommended course of action. The process of finding and working with the right lawyer can sometimes seem to be uncertain, but a short meeting with an attorney can often set your mind at ease and guide you towards a positive resolution.

Before you begin, there are some key issues you may want to consider as you start your search for an attorney. First, it is to your benefit to contact an attorney as soon as possible after your legal issue arises. If you wait to contact attorney, you could miss important deadlines that can affect your case or proceedings. Next, understand why you want to meet with a lawyer. Layout out the goals you hope to accomplish with them and understand the different billing methods that attorneys use. And finally, it is important to establish an open line of communication with your attorney as go through your legal process so that you are aware of unforeseen issues or complexities that may arise.

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Information on Estate Planning Law

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What is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is the process through which one is able to make certain his or her property and health care wishes are met in the case of death or incapacitation. Estate planning involves making decisions concerning the transfer of one’s property at death as well as various decisions concerning health care, retirement, and other personal matters.

What is an Estate?

An estate is all property owned or controlled by a person, either in his/ her name, a partnership, a trust, or a joint ownership. It also includes any other money generated in the event of the person’s death, such as life insurance. An estate includes:

  • Real estate and all things attached (a house, barn, etc.)
  • Personal property (bank accounts, stocks and other securities, cash, automobiles, jewelry, etc.)
  • Businesses and business interests (corporations, joint ventures, business property, etc.)
  • Powers of appointment (the right to direct who gets what)
  • Pension benefits, annuity contracts, life insurance, etc.
  • Debts
  • Claims

Why You Should Plan Your Estate

Estate planning is important because it ensures that your wishes will be carried out in the event of your incapacitation or death. You should consider planning your estate if you:

  • Have a child, or children that are minors
  • Possess property that you care about
  • Care about your future health care treatment

If you meet any of the above descriptions, planning your estate can benefit you in many different ways. Potential benefits include:

  • Being able to provide for your immediate family. Life insurance is a key way to provide for a surviving spouse or minor children.
  • Deciding guardianship for minor children. In order to ensure that your children receive the education and upbringing you want, be certain that you choose potential guardians instead of leaving it up to a court.
  • Providing for other relatives who need financial help or direction. Establishing a trust fund ensures that relatives will have the money and aid that they need.
  • Avoiding probate and make sure that loved ones get property quickly and without trouble.
  • Planning for your incapacity. Powers of attorney or living wills ensure that decisions concerning your health care are made in accordance with your wishes.
  • Minimizing expenses due to property transfer.

Choosing executors or trustees for your estate, which gives authority to individuals which you would like to administer your estate.

  • Planning your funeral ahead of time to ease emotional or financial strain on your loved ones.
  • Supporting charitable causes while taking advantage of tax laws which encourage philanthropy.
  • Reducing the amount of money the government takes from your estate and ensuring your loved ones get as much as they can.
  • Making certain your business or businesses continue to operate correctly.

     

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How an Estate Planning Attorney Can Help You

 

Estate planning is often undertaken by individuals, however, to plan your estate well, you should find an experienced estate planning attorney to help you through the process. Aside from drafting a will, estate planning takes a lot of work that is often detail-oriented and time consuming. Hiring an estate planning attorney will make certain that nothing is overlooked and everything is done correctly. An attorney can help ensure that your property is transferred to those you have identified with as little trouble as possible, minimize potential taxes and fees, help you avoid the probate process, and direct arrangements once you die or if you should you ever become incapacitated.

Generally, people avoid using attorneys due to financial reasons. When planning your estate, however, it is important to hire an estate planning attorney not only to be sure everything is done correctly, but also to save money that would otherwise be lost on taxes, fees, or spent on probate court.

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