People at all stations of life need estate plans. Whether you are young and just beginning to accumulate assets and property, or are retired or approaching retirement, an estate plan provides you with the opportunity to carry out your wishes should you pass on. With an active and engaged estate plan, you can direct what happens to your assets and property upon your death, instead of letting the probate process or the state decide for you.
Helping You Provide for Family, Friends, or Charity
An estate lawyer can help you craft an effective plan for distributing your assets according to your wishes upon your demise. A knowledgeable and experienced attorney can walk you through the entire process with compassion, sensitivity, and confidentiality. An attorney can explain the various options available and help you to implement the strategies that meet your needs and wishes most appropriately.
Estate lawyers protect the interests of those in need of estate planning, administration, and litigation. Their expansive knowledge and experience can guide you and help you meet your estate planning goals while minimizing tax consequences. When the details are hashed out ahead of time, your heirs will have a less painful and stressful experience. Indeed, having a prearranged estate plan is an excellent way to show your loved ones how much you care.
The Basics of Estate Planning
When you hire a lawyer to help you complete your estate plan, the legal professional should start by taking ample time to learn as much about you, your family, and your financial situation as possible. Your estate planning goals should be reviewed, as well. Speak honestly to your attorney and listen as the different options available to you are explained thoroughly. You will likely want to include use of:
- Dispositive documents, such as trusts and wills
- Retitling of property to avoid probate
- Lifetime gifts
Once you have decided which approach best fits your situation, needs, and wishes. Your estate planning attorney will prepare and execute the documents required to put your estate plan in place, including some of the following elements:
- A will to name the recipient(s) of your assets and property after you are gone
- A trust, including grantor-retained trusts, special needs trusts, life insurance trusts, and more. These legal vehicles allow an administrator to manage money for you and your loved ones
- A power of attorney, which enables someone else you name to manage your financial affairs if you are incapacitated or not able to do so
- An advance healthcare directive(s), which designates a person to make medical decisions for you are incapable. These also establish and make known your wishes for end-of-life decisions
- A real property deed will serve to transfer or retitle property to a trust or another individual as needed and directed by your estate plan.
Security for Your Family
Securing valuable assets and protecting family interests can be a daunting task for many individuals. An estate planning lawyer can take care of the details of your estate so you can focus on happiness and quality time with your family.