Estate planning refers to the process of preparation of tasks and documents that serve to manage ones assets in case one becomes incapacitated or death. This can be done through documentation such as; creating a will or power of attorney. It is considered the best method for anyone who has assets and wishes to leave them in care of beneficiaries in case of death or one becomes incapacitated. In addition, it gives one’s health care directive. Generally, when one is planning the process of estate planning, it is best to seek the guidance and services of an Estate Planning attorney one who has experience and great knowledge of the field.
An estate plan is very vital for everyone; this is because no one knows what may happen in future. There are many advantages for having an estate plan which include; assets are left in the care of one’s chosen beneficiaries, the family is spared long period of court processes, one choses the guardian for his or her children and also one executes his or her assets to the person he chooses. On the other hand, if one does not have an estate plan, Laws of Intestate Succession apply whereby the court choses who inherits what.
Certainly, estate planning being a very vital process should be handled with a lot of care and in a professional manner. The services of an estate planning attorney though expensive are worth while for many families . Some of the factors to consider while hiring an estate planning attorney are; his experience in the field so that one can be guaranteed of quality services, someone who can be trusted – in this case, the attorney shall receive very vital information and will not share with anyone else and he or she should be well conversant with the laws of the state.
In this process, the attorney shall be entitled to various roles; an attorney in most cases helps one in determining the best options, he gives guidelines on what one should do in accordance with the laws of the state. Also an attorney plays a great role in creating a will or power of attorney he ensures that all the necessary conditions are met when drafting these documents. In health care directives, it is the attorney’s duty guided by the client to state who shall take care of the client’s affairs in case he or she becomes mentally incapacitated.
In addition, an experienced attorney plays a great role in ensuring that there is a plan to avoid estate taxes and also ensure that client’s savings and assets are safer from his beneficiary’s creditors after his death. In case of court cases, the attorney helps the client avoid conservatorship issues and rather the client appoints someone he or she wishes to look after his children. Moreover, the services of an attorney are crucial in maintain the privacy of a client; in this case, only the client and the attorney are exposed to information.
However, as much as the services of an attorney are vital, it is upon the client to determine which duties to delegate to the attorney. The attorney on the other hand, should be flexible for the client as well as express simplicity to work with and assure the client of quality and efficiency in his work.
Contrary to what most people believe, an estate plan should be for everyone not minding the age, the number of assets, property or wealth that one has. There are other situations that the assistance of an attorney may of great help. For instance, if one wishes to leave his assets to adopted children or step children this must be clearly noted in the will, similarly, if one wishes to leave unequal shares among children, this may be challenged in a court by the affected person and the presence of an attorn4ey who had included such a misfortune may be of great significant.
Secondly, if one gets married, he or she shall need to consult an estate planning attorney in order to include the spouse in his or her will or living trust, this shall ensure that in case of any misfortune the spouse shall not face legal or financial hardships. Some other life situations such as divorce can need the assistance of an estate planning attorney. This is particularly because one shall need to clarify what he or she wishes the spouse to own especially in case of his or her death, this shall avoid family conflicts if the other spouse shall have remarried.
Also, one may seek the services of an estate planning attorney when he or she is diagnosed with a serious illness, this is because, one is not sure of what may happen next; it may be death or one may be unable to speak. An attorney will help one in documenting the necessary documents in estate planning as well as the client’s health care directive. In case one is using an irrevocable trust- whereby, the grantor entrusts his or her assets to the trustee as a way of avoiding estate taxation and protecting assets from the grantor’s creditors an attorney is crucial in order to establish the right separations between the grantor and trustee in the trust otherwise, the assets can be claimed by the creditors.