An estate planning lawyer specializes in helping people plan their assets and estates so that they can pass on their wealth in a way that suits them.
They help prepare draft documents and plans to ensure your assets are passed on according to your wishes without legal battles or big tax bills.
Estate planning involves arranging to transfer your possessions and wealth after you pass on. It is a process that is best left to an experienced attorney.
The lawyer’s role in estate planning is to educate you about your options and help you decide what will work best for you. It could mean discussing the various types of assets that you own, such as stocks and bonds, real estate, art, life insurance, and pensions.
The lawyer should also discuss important issues relevant to your estate, such as blended families, disabilities, and how you want to provide for your children after death. A reasonable attorney should welcome your questions, speak in a way you understand, and make you feel comfortable during the process.
Design Your Plan
Your lawyer will guide you through a process that will produce the best estate plan for your needs and circumstances. They will help you think through your assets, final health care wishes, and the steps you can take now to preserve your property and save taxes and other expenses for your loved ones in case of death.
When choosing an estate planning lawyer, it’s essential to find someone who is experienced and has a strong reputation in the legal community. Also, look into the credentials of your potential partner and see if they have additional certifications that will indicate their knowledge of estate law. Then, you can decide if they are the right fit for you.
Draft Your Documents
When you think of estate planning, you may envision long hours in an attorney’s office, huddled over stacks of paperwork and drowning in legal jargon. But the truth is, there’s a much more accessible, more cost-effective way to create an effective plan that meets your unique goals.
Our lawyers’ role in estate planning is to draft your documents, including a will, durable power of attorney and advanced medical directives. These documents will ensure that your wishes are followed, and your loved ones are provided for if you become incapacitated.
We’ll help you assemble your documents by identifying and gathering any existing financial or legal paperwork you need to organize, such as deeds to property; insurance policies; bank, brokerage house, and mutual fund accounts; tax returns; and retirement benefits. Collecting this information and keeping it in a safe-deposit box or file cabinet will simplify your executor’s job.
Sign Your Documents
One of the essential parts of a complete estate plan is signing your documents. This process is crucial because it demonstrates that you have taken the time to create your estate plan and want to pass it along to your loved ones.
It is where the lawyer’s role comes in. They’ll help you sign all of the necessary documents.
They’ll explain the documents, provide an easy-to-understand overview of how your plan will work, and answer any questions. It can be daunting, but an experienced attorney can make it feel like a breeze.
Review Your Documents
The lawyer must review your documents to ensure they meet your needs. It may include revising beneficiary documents, ensuring your trust is still valid, addressing potential tax issues and making sure the appointment of your executor, guardian and power of attorney is appropriate.
The attorney should also keep track of significant changes in your life. For example, if you get married, have children or lose a loved one, reviewing your estate plan to align with those events is essential.
It’s also a good idea to update your plan if you relocate. For example, suppose you move to a new state with different laws regarding inheritances or transfers of assets by gift. In that case, updating your documents to reflect your unique situation is essential.