Roughly 60 percent of Americans don’t have a will or any estate planning.
What will happen to their estates when they pass away? Nobody knows!
Without any estate planning, this could cause a lot of financial and legal problems down the road. You may not realize that it only requires a minor error or missing signature to undermine the will.
When arranging plans for your estate, it is extremely important that you hire an estate planning attorney to help you. Don’t try to do it alone!
Here are our top ten reasons why you need an attorney for estate planning.
1. An Attorney Works for You
When you hire an attorney to work on your estate plan, they operate with your interests in mind. As the client, the attorney is only accountable to you.
Any other people helping you with your estate planning could have financial interests of their own.
Can you really trust your teenage son to support you when there is so much at stake? Your family and friends may persuade you to make decisions based on their own financial gains.
2. Provide You with Impartial Legal Advice
Estate planning involves a lot of tricky legal concepts. Do you know your rights? Do you understand the different types of taxes?
There is a lot to get your heads around.
Your attorney is available to provide you with the impartial legal advice which is necessary to help you make big decisions.
You may have questions which need answering. It’s better to mention your intentions to your lawyer before you go ahead with anything.
Should you give away your estate to a donkey sanctuary? When is daughter permitted to access her trust fund?
These are the kind of complicated questions which you may require the support and advice of an objective professional. But, of course, the decision is for you!
3. Relevant Experience of Estate Planning
Unlike the “average Joe”, a professional estate planning attorney has lots of experience of estate planning. You’re in safe hands!
Have you ever seen an estate planning legal form before? Probably not!
Your attorney spends every day reviewing documents, such as estate planning forms. This is bread and butter stuff for them!
What happens when unexpected complications arise?
Your lawyer has an understanding of the law which can help you to overcome any problem. Experience really matters in estate planning!
4. Save You Time and Effort
Without an attorney, you would need to do a DIY will. Is this possible?
With the help of “how to guides” and YouTube clips you may be able to handle it yourself.
However, it will probably require a great deal of time and effort to get right. And even then, how do you know if you haven’t made any errors.
The drafting of a will is an extremely complex task. Can you really put your whole estate at risk?
You can save a lot of time simply by passing on the responsibility to a professional lawyer trained in drafting an estate plan.
5. Save Money
Hiring a lawyer is expensive, right?
Well, actually, you should consider it an investment.
Sure, a professional attorney will charge you legal fees. But, this won’t be much compared with the costs of getting your estate planning wrong.
Court fees and increased tax expenses can put an even bigger hole in your estate plan.
An experienced attorney knows the field. They could even save you a lot of money by securing you tax benefits or other financial gains.
6. You Need More Than a Will
You may think that you only need a will. But, actually, there is a lot more to an estate plan than a will.
You need the following:
- Medical Directive – how you want to spend your final days in an emergency.
- Power of attorney – appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf if necessary.
- Living trust – a method of managing your assets.
The combination of so many different complicated documents can be very confusing without legal training.
7. Your Life Can Change
You don’t have to create an estate plan isn’t created once and never changed. As your life changes, you may want to alter your estate plan.
This could include moving house to another state. You may be subject to different laws which affect your estate here.
Your marital relationship may change. For example, you may get married or divorced.
When you hire an attorney, you can depend on them to inform you when your estate plan may need to be updated to reflect the changes in your life.
8. The Law Changes
It is not only things in your personal life which can change. The law also changes from time to time.
Since you’re not engaged with probate laws in your state on a regular basis, you probably won’t know when a change occurs.
When changes to the law happen, your attorney will inform you about how these changes may affect your estate plan.
Additionally, if there are any problems which arise, your attorney will ensure that they’re handled to avoid any issues.
9. You Only Get One Chance
If you make a mistake on your estate plan without knowing it, that’s your chance over.
Sure, if you completely ruin your attempts at a DIY estate plan, you can always hire a lawyer to put it back into shape.
However, what if something unforeseen happens before you can make the necessary arrangements?
10. Keep Your Peace of Mind
Ultimately, the most important thing is that you deal with your estate plan. This way you can sleep easy at night knowing everything is handled.
It can be extremely stressful not knowing that your loved ones will benefit from your estate. You shouldn’t have to worry about such things.
Especially, towards the end of your life, you should be enjoying your twilight years. Not concerned with what happens when you’re gone.
Do I Need an Estate Planning Attorney?
Yes, you definitely need to hire an estate planning attorney. From writing up your estate plan to keeping your will up to date, it’s essential to have a lawyer by your side.
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