Many people only think about the value of an estate lawyer once they need one. They provide valuable services for those with assets to protect, manage and distribute. An estate planner can help you draft wills and trusts that meet your needs and reduce the cost of probate after death. Here are just some of the benefits an estate lawyer can provide:
1. Estate planning
The first benefit of hiring an estate lawyer is to assist you in creating an estate plan. Estate planning is preparing for what happens after your death, including deciding who will be responsible for certain aspects of your financial and personal life upon your passing.
Estate planning helps ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. It also allows you to determine how much control you want over those assets while still living, giving you more flexibility in achieving specific goals or providing support to family members.
2. Proposal for will and trust documents
You’ve been thinking about creating a will and revising your estate plan. You know it’s essential to be prepared for an untimely death, but you’re not sure where to start. A lawyer can help guide you through this process:
- The lawyer will explain the steps of creating a will or revising an existing one, including ensuring that all assets are appropriately transferred according to state laws.
- It’s crucial to have someone on your side who understands how estate planning works before taking action—a lawyer can help with that part too! They’ll ensure every document is properly executed so that everything goes smoothly when it comes time to distribute assets after death or incapacitation (if applicable).
3. Finalizing an estate plan
Creating a comprehensive estate plan that includes a will and trust is vital to avoid probate. They can assist you in creating these documents and ensure they are correctly executed. In addition, they will make sure your wishes are honoured after you pass away by providing no conflict between the person who inherits your property and any other interested parties (i.e., family members).
4. Executing a will and trust
A will and trust are two legal documents that can help protect your assets and provide for loved ones.
A will is a legal document that lists the wishes of the testator or person who made it. A trust is a legal document created by a trustee to manage property for beneficiaries according to instructions in the trust agreement.
Estate planning involves
- deciding how to distribute your assets after death,
- naming guardians for minor children,
- choosing an executor or personal representative (sometimes called an estate administrator), and
- determining whether to use a living trust instead of a will.
1. Estate administration services
Taking on the responsibility of adequately administering an estate is complex and can take a long time. They will help you with all the tasks involved in distributing the deceased’s assets, including:
- Paying taxes and other fees owed by the deceased
- Collecting assets from banks, brokerage firms and other financial institutions
- Paying creditors (such as credit card companies) to whom the decedent owes money
- Distributing remaining assets to beneficiaries as agreed upon in a will or trust.
2. Asset protection and management
Asset protection is one of the most critical aspects of an estate plan. You work hard to accumulate assets and grow your wealth during your lifetime. You should be able to keep as much of that wealth as possible after death and before taxes are taken out. An experienced lawyer can help you do this through various strategies such as:
- Provide a revocable trust so that you can transfer ownership of assets quickly.
- Setting up an irrevocable trust or charitable organization to hold assets (such as real estate) while they remain protected from lawsuits, creditors or divorce courts.
Hiring one can be the difference between success and failure in your estate planning. You might think you’re ready to go it alone, but there are so many things that can go wrong that you’ll never know until it’s too late. Sometimes hiring a professional is the only way to get it right.