In simplest terms, an Estate Planning Attorney helps create a plan for your belongings, children and family in the event of your death or incapacity. The big picture is simple enough, but the details are complex and require expertise.
An Estate Planning Attorney will help you to devise a plan that reflects your personal wishes and needs while also taking into account possibly minimizing any tax burden placed on family. Here are some of the main objectives that an Estate Planning Attorney can help you accomplish:
Determining Who Will Receive Your Assets
Your assets include all of your material possessions from jewelry to real estate, as well as intangibles such as annuities, partnership interests and retirement plans. Your Estate Planning Attorney will assist you in determining what your assets are (because often times Client’s are not certain of what they actually own), and then create your estate plan such that your loved ones can receive those assets according to your wishes. Details such as when your heirs will receive your assets can be included in an estate plan. You need to also name an executor to manage your estate after you pass and or a trustee to carry out your plan after you pass or potentially during a time where you may be sick and unable to manage your finances.
Determining A Guardian For Minor Children
If you have minor children, it is vital to create an estate plan so you can name a guardian in the event that you pass. Your Estate Planning Attorney can also guide you through the process of ensuring that children with special needs are cared for, and have enough financial resources to meet their future needs.
Establishing Health Care Directives
Though it is not pleasant to have to think about life without sound mind or the ability to communicate your wishes, it is a possibility that everyone should consider. Your Estate Planning Attorney will help you establish an advanced directive, which carries out your wishes regarding your health, life and the management of your affairs should the need arise.
Avoiding or Minimizing Costs
You worked hard for what you have, and you want your valuables to go to your loved ones. Your Estate Planning Attorney will advise you on how to minimize expenses such as federal estate taxes and probate expenses. Minimizing the expenses will help you to maximize the value of the assets that you leave to your loved ones.
There are several documents to consider for estate planning, each with its own purpose. An experienced Estate Planning Attorney will explain the personal and financial benefits of each, and help you to determine the best plan to meet your family’s needs and your wishes.
As you can see, there is much to consider regarding estate planning, and your Estate Planning Attorney will help you through every step. Though we don’t like to think about death, it is a natural and inevitable part of life. You have spent a lifetime caring for the ones you love. With a plan in place, you can continue to take care of your family and the people closest to you even after you are gone.