Estate planning involves preparing documents determining how assets should be distributed after death. These documents include a will, powers of attorney, and trusts. They can also help people minimize taxes and avoid probate.
Before choosing an estate planning lawyer, it is important to identify your goals. This will help them create a plan that will best accomplish their goals.
They Will Help You Create a Will
A good estate planning attorney will listen carefully to what you want to accomplish and explain your options. They will help you prioritize your goals and create a plan to achieve them, including minimizing taxes, providing for the orderly transfer of property, mitigating or eliminating probate expenses, and maintaining family relationships.
In addition, an estate plan will address medical issues by establishing advance directives that authorize the power of attorneys to make health care decisions on your behalf in the event of incapacity. It will also address financial issues by reviewing a comprehensive inventory of assets, their fair market value, and how they are titled.
Finally, a good estate planner will provide strategies to protect property from creditors and predators by making the most of trusts, limited partnerships, and buy-sell agreements. It will also address tax consequences, including state and federal estate and gift taxes. It will also consider how your family farm or business can be protected from insolvency.
They Will Help You Create a Power of Attorney
An estate planning attorney can help individuals protect their financial assets and transfer them smoothly to loved ones following death. In addition, they can help minimize taxes and avoid probate. Individuals can also choose to create trusts and advance directives.
One of the most important parts of an estate plan is granting power of attorney to an agent, which allows the agent to make decisions for the principal if they are incapacitated or unavailable. The agent can be a spouse, family member, friend, or trusted acquaintance. Individuals can even grant the agent gift-making authority, allowing them to provide birthday and holiday gifts or donate to charities.
Individuals should ask about their experience and education when choosing an estate planning attorney. They can also inquire about their knowledge of specific state laws and regulations for estate planning. This will give them confidence that their chosen attorney can create a comprehensive plan for their needs.
They Will Help You Create a Living Will
A well-drafted estate plan can help you minimize tax transfers, avoid probate and establish trusts to manage assets. It can also designate powers of attorney and a health care proxy. The plan will also include a living will that outlines your wishes for medical treatment if you become incapacitated.
A quality estate planning lawyer will listen carefully to your goals, then apply their knowledge and experience to create a plan that meets them. They will also offer options such as flat-free pricing to choose the best option for your needs and budget.
Inquire about their level of experience and whether they have practiced in this area for a long time. This will ensure that they are up to date on changes in the law. It will also mean they have the expertise to craft legal documents that will be enforceable in court. Also, ask if they have experience with complex estates and trusts.
They Will Help You Create a Trust
Estate Planning Attorneys can help you create a trust that can be used to manage your assets throughout your lifetime and after death. They can also help you minimize taxes and avoid probate. They can also help you designate powers of attorney and advance directives.
Depending on your situation, they recommend that you set specific goals for your estate plan. These guidelines will focus on your estate planning professionals and make your documents more likely to be properly drafted and assembled.
In addition to setting clear goals, you should ask about the attorneys’ qualifications. A good estate planning lawyer will have extensive knowledge of state and federal tax law and the tools available to meet your needs. They will also be up-to-date on the latest estate planning developments.