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Common questions for an estate lawyer…
What is the purpose of estate planning?
The purpose of estate planning is to provide financial and legal stability and security for individuals and their families, as well as to minimize or avoid potential tax liabilities. Estate planning involves creating legal documents, such as wills, trusts, durable powers of attorney, and healthcare powers of attorney, to provide individuals with control over how their assets and finances should be handled upon their death or incapacity. Estate planning is important in order to ensure that an individual’s assets and financial interests are taken care of according to their wishes. It also helps to protect assets from being lost due to estate taxes, probate costs, and other fees associated with the distribution of assets.
Who typically needs the help of an estate lawyer?
An estate planning lawyer can work with anyone to help them plan for the management and distribution of their assets after their death. People who may need the help of an estate lawyer include those who need help with preparing a will, setting up a trust, establishing a living trust, or designating power of attorney, just to name a few. Additionally, an estate lawyer can provide guidance on tax issues, administration, guardianship of children, care for your needs if you are unable to care for yourself, retirement and estate planning, probate and trust administration, and other financial matters related to the transfer of assets.
What is a will and why is it important?
A will is a legal document that states how a person’s estate will be distributed upon their death. It can include specifying who will receive specific assets, such as property, money, stocks and bonds, as well as who will be responsible for wrapping up the deceased’s affairs, such as paying debts and filing taxes. A will should also name an executor, who serves as the individual responsible for carrying out the wishes in the will. It is important to have a will because it ensures that your property is distributed according to your wishes after you pass away, rather than relying on state law to do the same. It can also help to reduce the amount of taxes your estate will owe, as well as provide for survivors such as dependents or family members. Without a will in place the government has already put a plan in place for your estate and that may not fulfill your wishes.
What is the role of an estate lawyer in estate planning?
An estate lawyer plays a vital role in estate planning. They provide professional legal services to help ensure that the client’s wishes are properly recorded and carried out. Estate lawyers can also provide advice on selecting guardians, handling the process of probate and the proper distribution of assets to heirs. With an experienced estate planning attorney client documents are tailored to their specific needs whereas DIY forms are cookie-cutter and one-size-fits-all.
What are some common items included in a comprehensive estate planning package?
Common items to include in a Last Will and Testament can vary depending on an individual’s estate planning needs, but some common elements generally include the following:
- Appoint an executor to handle your estate.
- Designate beneficiaries for assets such as bank accounts, real estate, and life insurance policies.
- Specify guardians for any minor children.
- Leave specific gifts to friends, family members, or charities.
- Create provisions to manage debt, taxes, and other expenses.
- Provide instructions for burial and/or cremation.
- Name a person to manage digital assets, such as social media accounts, websites, and online financial accounts.
- Assign power of attorney for making healthcare decisions if applicable
What are common fees for estate planning?
That depends on a number of things. Estate planning is tailored to each customers needs and wants so it is hard to give a simple answer on this. We will discuss all fees with you and the process that we follow during our first consultation. You will know exactly what your investment will be before any work begins and we guarantee your satisfaction 100%. If you are unhappy with our services we will make it right or refund your money.