If you want to be sure that your loved ones will receive everything that you would like to leave to them following your passing, an attorney who specializes in estate planning can definitely help. This attorney can also assist you in making certain decisions about your life that may impact your family and finances. Here are a few specific ways that one of these attorneys can assist you as you plan for your estate.
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A will is meant to specify who will inherit your property and any assets you own after you die. Your attorney can help you write a will that specifies the names of each recipient and how much of your estate they will receive, along with any special circumstances that might be attached. The attorney you work with can also make sure that your will is legally acceptable with the state probate court, and contains all the correct details to hopefully avoid disputes among your beneficiaries when the time comes.
If you want to put some of your money into a trust now so that it can be distributed to your beneficiaries following your death, an attorney who practices estate planning can easily guide you through the process.
Having a trust instead of a will can help your beneficiaries avoid the probate process, and your lawyer can assist you with choosing a trustee to manage your trust if you decide to choose this option.
Your attorney can also advise you on whether you should put your money into a revocable trust, which can be changed, or an irrevocable trust, which cannot be changed. Different circumstances surrounding your estates and your heirs may make one of these types of trusts better for you than the other.
An estate planning attorney can even help you work out certain tax details that may save you and your beneficiaries money when it comes time for estate taxes to be assessed. Before the assets in an estate are distributed to the beneficiaries, the state assesses the value of the estate and levies a tax on it.
Your attorney can advise you on how to invest your money while you’re still living to try to keep anyone from having to pay too much on estate or inheritance taxes. You may be advised to put more of your money into a trust or make gifts throughout the remainder of your life to keep the tax amounts that will be owed to an absolute minimum.
Granting a Financial Power of Attorney
If you believe that you won’t be able to manage your finances on your own because of a health condition or other circumstances as you get older, a financial power of attorney can be established so that a designated party can oversee your financial matters for you. This can be almost anyone you trust, so long as you believe they’ll do the job as accurately and honestly as they can.
The attorney you hire can help you grant the legal authority to another person in a way that will be honored by the law so that you can be sure that your money will be managed the way you want. This way, should a time come when you can’t manage your finances anymore, you’re still covered.
You don’t have to plan your estate alone or wait until you think you might be at risk of dying. When you hire an attorney who understands the different aspects of estate planning, you can be more assured that everything will be managed correctly and that you’re well prepared for the future.