Estate planning lawyers are trained to review and document all aspects of a person’s affairs. This includes identifying assets and beneficiaries, preparing directive documents for health care and final wishes, and reviewing taxes and probate issues.
When choosing an attorney, ask friends and family members for recommendations and look for attorneys specializing in estate planning. This will help ensure that the attorney understands your estate’s unique circumstances.
They Will Help You Draft a Will
Creating an effective will is one of the most important parts of estate planning. A lawyer can help you devise arrangements that are ideal for your family dynamics and can assist you with updating essential documents if your life circumstances change.
Finding an estate planning attorney who specializes in your situation is essential. The best way to do this is by asking friends and family members for recommendations, but looking online is also a good idea. Many attorneys offer a free, brief consultation and will inform you what they charge. Some will bill by the hour, while others will charge a flat fee.
An experienced estate planning attorney will help you create a list of your assets, beneficiaries’ names, and contact information. They will help you find the right balance between preserving your privacy and ensuring your loved ones are cared for after death.
Beneficiary designations are how your accounts and other assets pass to your heirs, so reviewing them periodically is a good idea. It’s also a good idea to ensure that all of your assets are located and organized in a central place so that your executor can quickly identify and account for them upon your death.
They Will Help You Draft a Power of Attorney
As you move through the interview process with prospective estate planning attorneys, you will want to listen to how they respond to your questions and see whether or not their answers seem appropriate for your situation. A lawyer who needs to take the time to listen and address your concerns carefully may not be a good fit for you.
Once you have found an estate attorney who is a good fit for you, they will work with you to draft and execute all legal documents in your estate plan. These may include a last will, a trust, and power of attorney.
A power of attorney allows you to give another person the authority to manage your property and financial affairs in the event of incapacity. You can create a general springing power of attorney that gives your agent full control or designate someone to handle specific matters. For example, Abe might choose Carol to manage his finances and appoint her as his healthcare proxy.
Your attorney will ensure all documents are signed and notarized according to state law. They will also assist you with establishing beneficiary designations on your bank accounts. Beneficiary designations can change throughout your lifetime, so it is essential to review them regularly.
They Will Help You Draft a Living Will
An estate planning lawyer can draft a living will and other advance directives, which allow you to outline your wishes for care if you cannot decide independently. The lawyer may also advise you about different types of trusts, which can protect your assets from long-term care costs and taxes and help you avoid probate.
Sacramento estate planning lawyers can assist you in choosing guardians for your children, if applicable. These conversations can be difficult, but they are necessary to ensure your children are cared for after death. The attorney will be able to explain the benefits of each option and help you choose the best guardians for your child or children.
When interviewing potential estate planning lawyers, choosing one who makes you feel comfortable is essential. You will be sharing a great deal of personal information with this person and must be at ease. Additionally, it is crucial that the attorney understands your situation and goals, and you can trust that they will be able to create a comprehensive plan that meets all of your needs.
Finally, ask prospective attorneys about their fees and billing methods. They may charge an hourly rate, a flat fee, or a combination of both.
They Will Help You Draft a Trust
When you work with an estate planning attorney, she will ask questions about your family, financial situation, and what your goals are for the future. The more information you provide, the better your attorney can help you.
Your attorney will work with you until all the legal documents have been completed and properly executed. This includes ensuring that you meet the requirements for the formalities of each document, such as having it signed by witnesses or notarized. In addition, your lawyer will explain any tax consequences and advise on minimizing the transfer taxes and probate costs for your family.
Estate planning is complex and will vary from person to person, so you must choose an attorney you feel comfortable working with. An excellent place to start is by asking friends and family for recommendations or looking online for attorneys near you who specialize in estate planning. Then, you can set up a consultation visit with the attorney to discuss your estate plan and goals.
Before hiring an attorney, ensure she specializes in estate law and has experience handling trusts.
Harper Harrison is a reporter for The Hear UP. Harper got an internship at the NPR and worked as a reporter and producer. harper has also worked as a reporter for the Medium. Harper covers health and science for The Hear UP.