Estate planning attorney is beneficial both during the planning phase and subsequent to the probate court process. They are familiar with the state and federal laws that apply to your properties. Read on, to learn more about estate planning attorney or lawyer, and many more…
An estate planning attorney is a type of lawyer who is familiar with the legal processes involved in preparing for an incapacitating occurrence or your eventual demise. They have years of experience mentoring, continuing legal education, and estate and inheritance law experience.
Generally, you can also refer to them, as an estate law attorney or probate attorney. They are the most knowledgeable and licensed attorneys who have a detailed understanding of the state and federal laws. They govern the inventory, valuation, distribution, and taxation of your properties following your death. Along with educating you about the probate process, an attorney will help you with the following tasks:
- Developing a will
- Appointment of beneficiaries
- Creating a durable power of attorney for financial matters and medical durable power of attorney
- Whenever practicable, minimizing and avoiding inheritance tax
- Identifying methods of evading the probate court process
- Establishing any trusts that may be necessary to safeguard your properties. Both for your own benefit during your lifetime and for the benefit of your beneficiaries following your death
Before we go further into deeper definition and explanation on estate planning attorney, let’s have a brief understanding of what an estate is.
What Is an Estate
An estate is all that makes up an individual’s net worth, including all land and real estate, personal property, financial instruments, cash, and other assets that the individual owns or controls.
Understanding Estate Deeper
The term “estate” is colloquial for all of the land and improvements on a large property, which is often a farm or homestead, or the historic home of a prominent family. However, in the financial and legal senses, an estate refers to anything of value that an entity owns. Such as real estate, art collections, antique objects, savings, insurance. As well as any other properties or entitlements. Which is often used to refer to a person’s net worth. Legally, an individual’s estate is described as his or her total assets, less any liabilities.
The value of a person’s personal estate is particularly significant in two situations: when the individual files for bankruptcy and when the individual dies. When a person files for bankruptcy, their estate is appraised to decide the debts they can fairly be expected to repay. Bankruptcy proceedings entail the same thorough legal examination of an individual’s assets that happens upon his or her death.
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Estates are most important after a person’s death. Estate planning is the process of organizing the division and succession of one’s personal estate, and it is perhaps the most critical aspect of an individual’s financial planning. Generally, a person creates a will that details their wishes regarding the distribution of their assets upon death. A beneficiary is someone who inherits the property.
Now, we have had little knowledge about what an estate is, you can now understand what estate attorneys or lawyers really do for you and everybody who owes land and properties. Meanwhile, let’s proceed into estate planning attorney/lawyer further.
Estate Planning Lawyer
Although estate planning lawyers often charge a flat fee to assist you in creating legally binding documents such as wills and permanent power of attorney, they may also be hired on an hourly basis to assist you in maintaining your properties, resolving conflicts on your behalf when necessary, and ensuring that your will is carried out according to schedule when necessary.
Additionally, an estate planning attorney can assist someone with power of attorney over a recently deceased person’s estate in navigating the probate court method. Indeed, a skilled attorney might be able to assist you in avoiding probate court entirely, although this is highly dependent on the form of properties in the deceased’s properties and the manner in which they are legally transferable.
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If a beneficiary (or even a person who has not been appointed as a beneficiary) declares his or her intention to appeal the will and sue the estate of a deceased family member or loved one. From which you stand to gain, it might be in your best interest to contact an attorney immediately. Such litigation can rapidly deplete an estate’s assets and leave all heirs feeling the pinch.
What Does an Estate Planning Attorney/Lawyer Do?
Estate planning should not begin and end with the execution of a will. A specialist in this area drafts living trusts and devises strategies for mitigating or avoiding estate taxes. They work to protect your life’s savings and properties from the creditors of your heirs after you die.
Take Away: Certain forms of trusts and the provisions included within an estate planning attorneys/lawyers will safeguard your estate against creditors and other vultures seeking to swoop in on an inheritance.Estate Planning Experts
Estate planning attorneys may draft durable powers of attorney and health care directives to appoint someone to manage your affairs in the event that you become mentally incapacitated. Powers of attorney empower someone you trust to sign on your behalf if you become unable to do so. You may create a health care directive to appoint someone to carry out your health care wishes in the event that you become incapacitated.
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They will assist you in avoiding guardianship or conservatorship proceedings if you need another person to manage your affairs. You may appoint guardians (to handle personal matters for your children) or conservators (to handle your children’s finances) to look after your children and finances if you die before they reach the required age to be self-sufficient and manage their inheritance. Get some legal advice today.
General Qualities Of an Estate Planning Attorney/Lawyer
A general lawyer can lack the expertise and professional knowledge. Necessary to assist you with your particular family and financial circumstances. Look for an attorney or lawyer who possesses the following characteristics:
- Practices exclusively in the field of an estate plan (planning).
- Allows you to feel free to share personal information about your life. As well as concerns, ensuring that your estate plan meets your desires and needs.
- Is well-versed in and current with your state’s rules. Otherwise, the court can declare your plan invalid.
For instance, in Florida, a personal representative must be a blood relative or married to you. Otherwise, they would be a state citizen. Nonetheless, Florida residents sometimes name an out-of-state acquaintance or attorney as a personal representative in their wills. However, this individual is not eligible to serve and will not be permitted to do so. Working with an experienced attorney will assist you in avoiding this common and costly error.
How To Find an Estate Planning Attorney
There are several ways to locate an attorney with whom you feel comfortable and trust. Start by contacting someone who is familiar with you, such as a financial advisor or accountant. Another source of reliable references is the local or state bar association. You may also visit the nearest probate court and other lawyers.
Prior to committing, it might be possible to conduct a short phone interview with a few. So it can help you to determine your ability to communicate effectively with them.
How Much Does It Cost For an Estate Plan
Prepare to pay for the development, maintenance, and updating of your estate plan. Do this with a professional who specializes in this area of practice. You’re paying for the attorney’s experience and understanding of the rules, as well as for a legally sound plan.
“Note: Your estate can end up losing much more money than it costs to retain a competent attorney in the long run.”
A flat fee could be sufficient to cover the preparation of necessary documentation and the initial consultation. If an attorney wishes to bill you by the hour, attempt to obtain a flat fee for the work you anticipate will be required. Any seasoned lawyers would concur. As they have a clear idea of how much effort goes into completing a particular mission.
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If your estate pays unnecessary taxes or a contentious probate process drags on after your death, your loved ones will wish you had spent the money on planning instead.
It is worthwhile to pay for the preparation so that you can be assured that your wishes will be carried out precisely. Because you enlisted the assistance of an accomplished attorney. Take the time to locate and employ a reputable attorney in your city, so you and your family will be grateful in the long run.
Estate planning lawyers help you plan how to leave your properties. So that it suits the law and stands up in court. Look for an attorney that is knowledgeable and specializes in the field. Meanwhile, check with your professional network or personal contacts to see if any know a reliable attorney. However, paying for an attorney to help you prepare your estate, plan, will save your loved ones and properties thousands of dollars.