As humans, we are mortal, and death is inevitable. You’ve accumulated estate consisting of homes, real estate, cars, and other personal possessions. But have you ever wondered what will happen to the estate when you pass away?
If such a thought crosses your mind, hiring a reputable estate planning attorney is paramount.
When you pass away, you want to have a wish of how you want the estate to be distributed to the beneficiaries you name. And this is where the estate plan becomes invaluable. This is a legal plan listing who will receive the assets, what, and when they’ll receive them.
To have a good estate plan, it’s imperative to work with the best attorney. An estate planning attorney will advise and help you create or update existing estate planning documents. These include wills, health care directives, trusts, and powers of attorney
However, you must get it right when picking an estate planning attorney. Making the wrong decision is costly and could be followed by family feuds or your wealth being eaten away by taxes.
But do you really need this attorney? Here are the benefits of hiring an estate planning attorney.
They Help to Avoid Costly and Lengthy Probate Process
Probate is a court-supervised process where the decedent’s estate is transferred to the rightful heirs. The probate process is very expensive and can last even for two years.
And don’t forget the process is also very public. This means anyone willing to go to the courthouse to get copies of your will and other confidential documents.
But do you know it’s possible to avoid this intricate and costly process by having all your assets designated to beneficiaries? Well, a reputable lawyer will keep you updated and knowledgeable about the probate process. They’ll advise about what you need to do to avoid the long and expensive process.
Update Documents When Appropriate/Necessary
Trusts, will, power of attorney, and other related estate planning attorneys aren’t documents to be prepared once and it’s done. You’ll need to revisit them as life events happen, law changes, and financial situation changes. At all times, make sure the plan is up to date with your wishes.
If you already have the estate planning documents, your lawyer will review them regularly. This will help determine any updates required to align with your wishes and goals. At times, a simple amendment to trust or codicil to a will might need to be added.
In other circumstances, you’ll need to review the estate plan with an aim to minimize estate taxes or avoid the probate process.
Ensure Your Documents Comply with the Current Law
If you work with a reputable estate planning attorney, then you’ll be sure all your documents will be drafted according to the current state laws. Every state has its own trust and probate laws, and they change from time to time.
With an experienced estate planning attorney by your side, you get peace of mind. You are sure your estate plan is in accordance with the requirements of your state laws.
Reputable estate planning attorneys have in-depth knowledge of local law. Also, they keep themselves updated whenever a change occurs.
The Estate Planning Attorney Will Offer Objectivity
The estate planning process can be overwhelming and emotional. Also, it might be challenging to determine which is the best plan with changing family dynamics.
An attorney will bring logical and reasonable thinking to ensure the plan matches your loved ones’ current and future needs.
Confident Your Documents Represent Your Wishes
While you may want to do your estate planning, one of the grave mistakes is creating documents that won’t meet your wishes. Keep in mind estate planning process is intricate and confusing.
If you end up misinterpreting or misunderstanding questions asked in an online form, you waste your time and money. And don’t forget the documents won’t reflect your desired outcome. Also, most of the errors in estate planning documents will only be revealed after someone’s death.
In such a case, it will be too late to make any alterations or correct things. If you hire a reputable estate planning attorney, then you have an expert who understands your wishes. They will guide you step but step to ensure the documents accurately reflect all your wishes.
They Will Help Reduce Tax Liabilities
Different factors are used to determine whether an estate is liable for federal estate taxes. These include;
• The amount of debt owed by the decedent at the time of death
• Value of the gross estate
• Total expenses incurred when winding up the estate
• Eligible deductions the estate qualify for
An experienced estate planning attorney knows how estate taxes are deducted. Also, they know the best practices to help clients and their beneficiaries reduce the liable taxes. They will advise you accordingly and ensure that you minimize the overall taxes payable.
You can learn more about how an estate planning lawyer will help you reduce estate taxes.
Create a Plan to Take Care of a Family Member with Special Needs
If you have a child or beneficiary with special, then this is treated as a special circumstance in estate planning. For instance, if you have a member with special needs, their public benefits are lost once they inherit the properties outright. This requires an attorney’s intervention to ensure the beneficiaries receive their inheritance too.
The attorney can help establish a type of trust to ensure those with special needs still get government benefits and inheritance. However, setting up these types of trust is complicated and requires special estate planning knowledge. An adept attorney ensures a valid special needs trust is established in accordance with the law to protect and benefit your loved ones.
Here Are Benefits of Hiring an Estate Planning Attorney
Having a well-outlined estate plan is key to avoiding court interventions or the wrong persons benefiting from your wealth. Also, it protects your family from high costs, taxes, and even their own naivety or irresponsibility. But to come up with such an estate plan, hiring a lawyer is vital.
Above are the benefits of working with the best estate planning attorney.
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