Estate planning attorneys help people get their affairs in order.
Close your eyes and try to picture an attorney in your mind’s eye.
Who do you see?
Likely it is a trial lawyer from a televisions show or movie.
When it comes to estate planning attorneys, most people have no frame of reference.
In fact, many people do not even know what estate planning attorneys do.
According to a recent Vents Magazine article titled “Understanding What an Estate Planning Attorney Does,” these attorneys provide much needed support to individuals and families.
How do they do this?
All people die eventually.
That is the sobering fact confirmed on the rate sheets of every life insurance company ever formed.
Estate planning attorneys help you to “get your affairs in order” for your loved ones.
You cannot take your assets with you when you die.
There are no pockets in a burial shroud.
You will need to leave your assets, whether that is to family, friends, or charity.
Depending on the laws of your state, the government may exact sizable “death” taxes.
Legal documents need to be in place for you to pass your assets efficiently and according to your wishes.
An experienced estate planning attorney will educate you on your options and advise you on the best actions for your circumstances.
After you have chosen a course of action, the attorney will draft an appropriate “legal instrument” (think last will or trust) to accomplish your unique objectives.
However, wealth distribution is only one goal of estate planning.
Comprehensive estate planning also involves incapacity planning.
An estate planning attorney will help you create a general durable power of attorney for financial decisions and an advance health care directive for medical decisions.
If you are unable to make these decisions on your own, you will have agents in place to act on your behalf.
If you have minor children, you will need to select a guardian to rear them to adulthood should they be orphaned.
Estate planning is important and needs to be done right.
You cannot fix mistakes after you die.
Research an experienced estate planning attorney in your area.
Read any online ratings and reviews.
Ask friends or financial advisors for recommendations.
Choosing an estate planning attorney should not be done lightly.
Reference: Vents Magazine (December 12, 2019) “Understanding What an Estate Planning Attorney Does”