It can be challenging to think ahead and plan for what might happen after you’re gone, but it’s necessary if you want to ensure the best for your loved ones. An estate planning attorney can help you figure out the best way to do this. They can help you get your affairs in order and prepare for any worst-case scenario. Read on to learn more!
What does an estate planning attorney do?
While many people think estate planning begins and ends with a simple last will and testament, this is not the case. Attorneys who specialize in estate planning will draft living trusts, help you navigate estate taxes, and help you allocate your life’s savings to people you care about—not your beneficiaries’ creditors. Many people neglect the fact that it’s possible to become mentally incapacitated without actually passing away, and you can plan ahead for that as well with an estate planning attorney. They can help figure out your health care directives and who will make decisions on your behalf, should you need them to.
How do you choose an estate planning attorney?
There are a few qualities that any good estate planning lawyer should have before you choose to work with them. First, make sure that they have the experience and specialized knowledge you need to help you with your family and your financial situations. Second, figure out how comfortable you are with this attorney. If you don’t feel as though you can share the details of your life and your concerns about your final plans, this may not be the lawyer for you. Finally, the attorney should be up-to-date and knowledgeable about the laws. Otherwise, the estate plan might be considered invalid by the courts.
How much do estate plans cost?
Usually, a good estate plan is going to have some hefty legal fees. This is because it will be held and updated by someone who specializes in this area of the law. You are paying for the expertise and professionalism that an attorney can provide. The old adage still rings true: you get what you pay for. If a fee seems too good to be true, it likely is. Think about what your estate is actually worth. You might stand to lose much more money in the long run than the upfront cost of paying for a quality attorney now. For example, sometimes a difficult probate process follows when a loved one dies. These legal fees could leave your family wishing you would have figured this all out ahead of time. Give yourself the peace of mind that comes with a clear estate plan and reach out to an attorney who can help.
Do I need an estate planning attorney?
In the end, this is up to you—but there are some things to consider. The state law dictates what can and cannot happen in a will or trust, so without fully understanding the law on your own, you are gambling with what could happen to your assets. Some people are not allowed to be your personal representative, trustee, health care surrogate, and more. For example, in the state of Florida, a personal representative must be related to you by either marriage or blood. When these people choose a friend to handle the issue, they are not legally allowed to serve. By working with an attorney, you are much less likely to face issues like this.
Do you have a complex situation?
If you have a complex financial or family situation, a lawyer can surely guide you through this and help ensure that everything is smooth. For example, anyone in a second marriage, business owners, those with minor children, and so on should call an attorney for help.
Contact Law Offices of Shannon C. Smith
We want Covington residents to feel a peace of mind as they move through life knowing that their loved ones will be taken care of when they are gone. If you would like to feel that comfort for yourself, it’s time to call Law Offices of Shannon C. Smith. We look forward to helping you prepare for the future with full knowledge and understanding of Kentucky’s laws. Reach out now and schedule your consultation!