An Estate Planning Attorney is a professional who helps individuals plan for the management and distribution of their assets. A well-drafted estate plan can help ensure that family members receive the inheritance they deserve and can minimize taxes and other expenses associated with death and incapacity. An estate planning attorney can provide guidance and support to clients through this difficult process.
The first step in choosing an estate planner is to consider your unique needs. This may include factors such as children with special needs, a taxable estate, or a family business. An experienced estate planning attorney can provide insight and advice on how to best manage these issues, while ensuring that your wishes are carried out.
Having an estate plan is also important for those who wish to leave behind a legacy or charitable donations. An estate planning attorney can help you set up a trust for this purpose, which can allow you to reduce your tax burden while allowing you to donate significant amounts of money to the charity of your choice.
You should meet with several estate-planning attorneys to find the right fit for you. During the meeting, pay attention to how comfortable you feel sharing your personal information. You want to work with an attorney who makes you feel at ease and has a good bedside manner, as they will be dealing with sensitive matters on your behalf.
The traditional experience of working with an estate-planning attorney can be a bit daunting. You will typically meet with a lawyer who will make you feel like they know what they are doing, and you will nod along in agreement as if you understand everything. They will then prepare documents for you, and you will sign them, feeling relieved that the matter is now taken care of.
While creating your estate plan, you must compile a list of all your assets and determine who will receive each item. This can be a daunting task, as you must gather many pieces of information from various sources. You will need to review your financial records, insurance policies, and titles in order to ascertain their value and potential tax consequences. Moreover, you must locate and organize all these documents so that your loved ones can easily find them after your death or incapacity.
One of the most common mistakes people make is naming beneficiaries on assets such as bank accounts or life insurance policies incorrectly. While these errors are often innocent, they can result in a lot of hassle and expense for your family after your death or incapacity. Your estate planning attorney can help you correct these errors and protect your assets from unnecessary claims by the government.
An estate-planning attorney can also advise you on appointing a guardian for your minor children, as well as who should act as executor of your estate. While you can appoint family members as guardian and executor, it is generally best to hire a professional who has experience in these areas. Additionally, an attorney can help you create a plan to avoid conflict amongst family members, which can arise after the death of a loved one.