A recent article from CNBC says that Covid-19 created a new awareness among Americans. If they do not have a living trust or living will by now, they should. Further, a survey shows that 67% of Americans do not currently have an estate plan.
While it may feel morbid, thinking about the end of your life and untimely death is not. You are being smart and practical.
An estate planning lawyer helps to ensure that someone carries out your last wishes. It also prevents your loved ones from fighting.
The estate planning process takes time, so it is better to settle your affairs while you are healthy before something happens. Do not wait too long because you may not have the opportunity to create an estate plan on time.
You will want to hire a lawyer to help you, and here is why.
Create a Will
You could find a template online for your will. However, you risk not fulfilling your needs.
Think about your life, your family, and your assets. Ask yourself this question: “Can I fit my livelihood in a template I found online?”
A holographic, or handwritten will, is an option. However, the rules that apply to them are very specific. They often lead to probate litigation, too.
Working with an estate planning lawyer will make the estate planning process much simpler.
Further, you will want to divide your assets among the beneficiaries you select. It is best to work with a third party who is neutral on this. An estate planning attorney is a valuable resource for you with identifying beneficiaries.
Avoid Probate and Taxes
An estate planning attorney can do things you cannot do on your own. Probate can prolong the settling of your affairs.
You can avoid having your estate put through probate if you would like, but you need an estate planning lawyer to help you. Estate planning attorneys understand probate law and they know how to get around it.
An estate planning lawyer could use joint property ownership, the use of death beneficiaries, and gifts to avoid probate. Although usually, you can avoid probate and estate taxes through leveraging trusts.
Avoid Mistakes from Occurring
Trusts are a lot like wills in the sense that they provide direction for what will happen to your belongings, along with identifying who the beneficiaries are when you pass away. You could create a trust yourself, but mistakes can happen or you may forget to include things.
An estate planning lawyer will protect your wishes, ensuring that there are no mistakes in your trust.
Should You Use a Will or a Trust?
A will may work fine for your situation. Other times, you are better off with a trust. If you need a trust, there are a few types.
Every estate plan is unique. The best decision for your own peace of mind and your loved ones is to work with an estate planning lawyer to advise you on the best course of action to take.
Estate planning and probate law are always changing. If you do not hire a lawyer, it will be impossible to understand all the new updates. An estate planning attorney keeps up-to-date on the latest state and IRS laws.
Eliminate Potential Disputes
Your estate plan is just that, it is your plan and your last wishes. Loved ones will not always agree. In fact, while you are still alive, they could try to get the role of financial power of attorney.
When disputes happen, to protect your interests, you will need an estate planning lawyer who handles both the estate planning process and probate law.
Changing a Will
You may need to alter your health care directives, power of attorney, and will. Some tools can help you do this on your own. But, if you do not change the form or template, you are at risk of invalidating your entire will.
This goes back to mistakes and simple “oops.” Unfortunately, with an estate plan and a will, these are not documents that you want to leave to the chance of human error. Reassure yourself that all is up-to-date because you have an estate planning attorney to help you get it right.
A Trusted Advocate
Your loved ones care and love you. They want what is best for you, but they also have biases.
An estate planning lawyer will work to carry out your wishes, to the best the law can provide, and will do so with no emotional attachment to your assets. They will carry out your medical directives as you say that you want them carried out.
An estate planning lawyer will be the best advocate you can for making decisions about your estate plan.
When you hire a lawyer, it not only protects you, but it protects your loved ones too. It protects their interests, ensuring that they receive the assets you have planned for them.
Hire an Estate Planning Lawyer
The Cronin Law Firm is courageous, confident, and compassionate. We handpicked every member of the firm.
We choose the company we keep. We choose smart attorneys who agree with our ideals.
If you need an estate planning lawyer to carry out your wishes, you have come to the right place. Contact us now and let’s make your last wishes a reality.