Any person with assets (bank accounts, credit cards, currency, real estate, and investments) has an estate. And, the estate does not follow when a person passes. Who would you like to obtain your properties when you die? A well-crafted estate planning is important. It helps your family and loved ones escape lawsuits. Also, a good estate plan lawyer will help you with how you can distribute your property. An estate planning attorney can help you with this.
How does it work?
An estate plan is a directive that specifies how a person’s legal, financial and personal affairs are managed after their death or if they lose the mental capacity to do so. Many courts consider these documents legally binding when they are duly authored and overseen by experts. It can be estate planning attorneys and are unlikely to be contested by any disputing group.
Many people write an estate plan to ensure that a significant portion of their liquid assets is passed to their family members. They also do so to protect themselves if their ability to handle their own affairs is an issue. Following the below mentioned activities to create documents such as:
Proxy for Medical Care
This legal document resembles a power of attorney in appearance. However, the document grants the author’s appointed person the authority to make healthcare decisions. It is completed on the author’s behalf if the author cannot do so on their own.
Some people also make a power of attorney declaration. In this situation, the mandate gives a designated person the ability to make essential legal or financial decisions. It is completed on the author’s behalf if they become unable to do so themselves.
Testament and Last Will
This paper sets out in writing how a person’s final obligations are treated. In this legal document, the person in question appoints an executor who they trust. They also believe they can carry out the associated responsibilities. Following an executor’s appointment, the author decides who their legitimate heirs are. It also includes how their properties should be divided. Burial orders and how specific debts are to be remitted are two examples of important instructions.
Those who create living trusts entrust the administration of their entire estate to a trustee who executes certain delegation powers at the time of the author’s death.
We have discussed the real estate plan procedure and how an estate planning attorney helps with the entire process. It is also mentioned above what type of legal documents attorneys can create in estate planning.
So now, let’s discuss what an estate planning attorney can help you with and how they create solutions for your various problems.
Things Estate Planning Attorney Helps With
The attorneys specializing in estate planning can help with legal tasks after the death or disability of the author. This happens when the author of the estate plan can no longer make their own decisions. The estate plan attorney helps you with the probate process. Along with the process, they can be very helpful in the below-mentioned tasks:
- They can help create your will for you and ensure that it is followed upon after your death.
- Also, they figure out ways to escape or reduce the estate taxes when possible.
- Help with designating your beneficiaries according to the estate plan that you have created.
- Following the legal procedures, they help you in avoiding the probate court process.
- They also help to establish a durable power of attorney and durable medical power of attorney.
- The estate plan attorney takes all the appropriate measures to protect your assets. Whether it is during your lifetime, or the setting up trusts to benefit your beneficiaries after your death.
- These attorneys also have the legal right to sue the family or loved ones of the deceased. They sue the ones who try to benefit from the beneficiaries and are not mentioned in the deceased’s estate plan.
Importance of the Estate Planning
Undoubtedly, an appropriate estate plan can benefit you in various ways. Although many people tend to ignore estate plans throughout their lives, it is a critical task that you should complete in your life.
According to the plan, the estate planning attorney decides how the deceased wants you to distribute the assets. Even though the person is not rich or has that many assets, they should still consider setting up a plan. You can manage your estate plan by hiring an attorney to avoid conflicts in your family.
1- Helps to Protect the Beneficiary
Even though estate planning was only limited to the rich of society in the previous times, it is spreading through the middle class. Whether you have a single house, a beach house, or a farmhouse, you need to designate your heirs to avoid injustice afterward. Therefore, by setting up a plan, you can ensure that your beneficiaries are protected and are distributed justly.
If a person dies without estate planning, their loved ones have to hit court trials that might last for years and cost a lot of money. Moreover, many conflicts take place between siblings and family members in such situations that result in messes. So, you must decide who has been responsible enough to get your assets. Or how you want to divide your assets among your children or other family members.
2- Ensures the Protection of Your Minor Children
It might be a terrifying thought of dying young. But if you have minor/young children, you have to overcome your dreadful thoughts and consult an estate planning attorney. Therefore, you should create an estate plan and appoint trustworthy guardians for your young children. This plan also helps in the division of assets as the children will turn eighteen years of age.
In case you die without appointing any person as your children’s guardian, the court will have to make a decision. The court doesn’t know what person might take care of your children or who is more trustworthy. So, this is a decision that you should make in your life. This will ensure the upbringing of your children in reliable hands and just division of your assets.
3- Surprisingly Decrease the Tax on Beneficiaries
The purpose of estate plans is to ensure that your loved ones don’t have to face any legal circumstances after your death. It is essential to protect your family and do a just division of assets among them. With estate planning, you can also protect your family from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This will help in a significant reduction in tax burdens while distributing the assets.
By consulting attorneys specializing in estate planning, you can significantly reduce the tax burden. Therefore, it is important to set up an estate plan now. In some cases, you can also completely get rid of all the federal and state estate taxes and inheritance taxes. Your attorney will also come across various ways to help decrease the amount of taxes. Your beneficiaries will have to pay these taxes through proper guidance. Without this plan, your heirs will have to pay a hefty tax to inherit the assets.
4- Helps Eliminate the Ugly Situations and Messes
You might have frequently heard about the family messes when it comes to the division of assets. People tend to kill each other in these family disputes because of the lack of proper estate planning in the hands of the breadwinner. Most of these disputes go in courts, and the trials continue for years while the family members shatter.
To avoid all kinds of ugly situations and family messes, you must consult an estate planning attorney and divide all your assets. Even if it is a small house, you need to distribute it once you expire. So, get your plan ready before any inconvenience or dispute happens.
Top Estate Planning Pitfalls to Avoid
There is no doubting the fact that you are fascinated by the benefits which estate planning can offer as explained above. However, you must know that in order to experience these benefits, there are dos and don’ts to follow. This section will be explaining some mistakes you should avoid during estate planning. These may sound like common mistakes but there are many people who are guilty of them.
This is one of the most common mistakes you can make during estate planning. It happens when you are putting off the planning process repeatedly or just don’t have the necessary time to consider all the required details. The implication of this is that you could end up exposing your loved ones to lots of problems and complications in the future. Even your estate’s financial future is at huge risk.
The only remedy for this is to take out time and start planning your estate. In a situation whereby it has been planned before now, you can have it reviewed and updated.
Naming Only One Beneficiary
It is crucial to have two or more beneficiaries for your assets. There is no guarantee that you are going to die before your beneficiary. This is why a contingent beneficiary needs to be included. There are different places where beneficiaries are often listed. These could be:
- Savings & checking accounts
- Retirement plans
- Life insurance policies
- Last will & testament
One nightmare many people face is not knowing how to choose the right beneficiary. There are people you need to take into consideration like:
- Your spouse
- Your children
- Any member of your family or a friend that depends on you financially
Not Hiring An Attorney
Without hiring the expertise of an attorney, many things can go wrong. An estate planning attorney has some important roles to play to ensure such a process is smooth and successful. For instance, such professional will help in drafting your will. They can also assist when it comes to designating of beneficiaries. If you become incapacitated, these people can make decisions on your behalf. It is therefore better to involve them in the process now.
Not Including All of Your Assets
When it comes to estate planning, many people only think of houses, cars, cash and other physical properties. Although these are assets, you need to understand that the world has advanced. Today, there are digital assets which can be in danger of missing when not included during estate planning. If you have cryptocurrencies stored somewhere, it is important they are included. People have lost millions of dollars due to this mistake.
This is another common mistake or pitfall to avoid during estate planning. You can be sentimental in many ways. For instance, it could be in form of choosing guardians for minors or the wrong person as executor. When any of these occurs, the instructions in your will may not be carried out as expected. It is therefore important that estate planning should be done without any form of bias or sentiment.
Another way to be biased is not hiring the right attorney that can help you. Don’t forget that your assets are involved and need to be managed in the best way possible. an experienced attorney will help out.
Failure To Reduce Estate Tax
Trump tax reform gives you the chance to explore the option of tax gifting. Failure to do this can increase the tax of your estate when you are dead. It is also possible to make larger gifts of more than $15,000 when you are alive. This will increase the overall value of your estate.
Estate Planning Attorney Near me
Now that you know the importance of estate planning and how it works, it is time to search for an estate planning attorney. You can make the right decision by finding the right estate planning attorney. You can do it by reading reviews of the famous attorneys in your area.
We offer well-planned and efficient estate planning in Sacramento and other areas. We provide various legal services. Our services include estate planning, contract disputes, ownership disputes, and other legal work. Our estate planning attorney makes sure that you get good services. We assist in the whole process from legal paperwork to complete protection of your will.