Are you trying to plan out and organize your assets? As we get older, we need to figure out how our estate will be handled after our deaths. While you can do this alone, it’s less complicated if you bring in a professional. There are several legal hurdles and things you may not take into consideration on your own.
This is when you need to hire an estate attorney (otherwise known as an estate planning attorney).
But what is an estate planning attorney? How can they help you, and what kinds of tasks can they carry out? Let’s talk about it.
What Is an Estate Planning Attorney
An estate attorney is a lawyer who helps with estate planning. They help their clients draft documents such as wills and trusts to ensure that their assets are handled correctly after their death.
They understand state and federal laws and how they apply to the distribution of your estate depending on your conditions.
What Can an Estate Planning Attorney Do?
So why bother getting an estate attorney? Can’t you write a will on your own and expect your family to carry out the rest?
Estate planning attorneys know the field, and they know all of the hurdles that you should anticipate. They’re more likely to help you develop airtight documentation.
A will isn’t as simple as a piece of paper with your intentions written on it. It’s a legal document and it should be treated as such. An estate lawyer helps you draft one with that in mind.
They help you designate your beneficiaries and protect your assets with trusts. This helps your beneficiaries after your death, but it also helps you in the event that you become incapacitated.
An estate attorney can help you designate a power of attorney and they can help the person with the power of attorney in the event of a death.
They’re also there to help you reduce your taxes and avoid probate. See here for more on probate and why it can make the distribution process more difficult.
What About for Beneficiaries?
Estate attorneys aren’t just for the person planning out their estate. Some of them (who also refer to themselves as probate attorneys) also help beneficiaries when legal battles start.
This is most important if someone who isn’t listed as a beneficiary, or who doesn’t receive everything that they feel they are owed, claims that they’re going to contest the will and sue the estate.
Even if you know that you’re going to win, the process can drain the estate. Consulting a lawyer will help you figure out your next best steps to avoid that problem.
Do You Need an Estate Attorney?
If you plan things out and use an estate attorney before your death, you’ll make the legal process easier for your family and other loved ones that you designate as beneficiaries. You’ll also make things easier for yourself.
Estate planning is difficult, and there are so many legal factors that the average person doesn’t know how to handle. Contact an estate attorney today to make sure that your affairs are in order.
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