Remember the following when determining whether you need to hire the services of an estate planning attorney. However, you should know that estate planning is a serious business. A single misspelled word or omitted signature may alter the entire meaning of a will or trust.
Apart from this, there are many reasons to hire the services of an experienced estate att0rney. Meanwhile, several of the following will convince you to hire an expert to draft your estate plan.
Why You Need To Hire An Estate Planning Attorney
State Laws Are Difficult
State laws specify what may and cannot be included in a will, trust, or medical or financial durable power of attorney. Additionally, laws specify who may and cannot witness these documents and the formalities that must be followed before they are signed.
Frequently, states regulate who is and is not permitted to serve as a personal representative, trustee, health care proxy, or attorney-in-fact.
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What You Should Know: Although the United States Constitution requires that legal documents be accepted between states. However, some states may not completely adhere to reciprocity laws. Particularly when the forms and requirements are different. Make sure that your estate plan is reviewed by an attorney qualified to practice in the state in which you live.Estate Planning Experts Advice
For instance, in Florida, a personal representative must be a blood relative, married to you, or otherwise eligible under state law. Additionally, they must be a citizen of the state at the time of your death. Regardless of this rule, many citizens continue to attempt to appoint someone as a representative who does not fall into either of these categories. They are not permitted to work in Florida as non-residents or non-relatives.
However, working with an experienced estate planning attorney will help you prevent such expensive and straightforward errors.
You Need a Unquestionable Plan
Planning for the inevitable can be difficult, and more so if you’re uncertain of what you’ll need. You are aware of the properties you want to pass on. Meanwhile, you may have relatives or friends to whom you wish to move anything on (or not). You may wish to leave something for a younger relative to access later in life, but immediately grant another access to whatever you leave them.
However, financial resources are available online that allow you to accomplish all of this and more. Moreover, when obtaining advice or documents online, you cannot be certain that the advice is sound or that the documents are legitimate. Therefore, your proposal must be unquestionably sound and irrefutable. Meanwhile, an estate planning attorney will assist you with this. They are familiar with the legal documents, financial instruments, wording, and procedures necessary to implement your financial plan and ensure its viability in court.
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An Estate Attorney Will Help You Update Your Plan/Will
Once you’ve created a strategy with the assistance of an estate lawyer, it must be revised on a regular basis. Every three to six months, many people experience a major shift in their lives. Your circumstances can change, or the lives of your beneficiaries can take an unexpected turn.
Note: “At the very least, you can conduct an annual inventory of your properties and circumstances to ensure that your estate plan is current.”
However, your estate plan should be flexible enough to accommodate any changes in the lives of the individuals involved. For instance, if your only daughter ran away to Vegas six months ago to marry a local bad-boy who no one approves of, you should update your estate plan immediately. Especially if you’ve left her any valuable assets.
Basically, changes do not have to be negative to get your estate up to date. Perhaps your daughter decided that instead of marrying right out of high school, she would seek a degree in business in order to start her own consulting firm. You could amend your will to include funds to assist her in funding the business after she graduates.
You may make her share of the estate conditional on certain circumstances. Meanwhile, you could alter the plan to provide her with funds to start a business or buy a house, depending on her path.
Your Beneficiaries Will Save Money
If you forego consulting an estate attorney and instead use forms available online or in a do-it-yourself book to prepare how your assets will be divided, you will end up costing your family more money. The court system in your state can reject your do-it-yourself documents. Even if the courts accept them, you might have overlooked certain critical ones that result in delays.
Note: Although there is nothing wrong with completing the forms and preparing yourself, it is best to have them reviewed by an estate planning attorney to ensure everything is in order.Legal Advice Tip
Although there is nothing wrong with completing the forms and preparing yourself, it is best to have them reviewed by an estate planning attorney to ensure everything is in order. Your beneficiaries can end up spending thousands of dollars later on to correct any errors. This could place them in financial difficulty. Particularly if your estate was built to ensure their continued financial viability following your death.
Estate Attorneys Will Help You Spot And Resolve Difficult Situations
Consider your life and properties to determine whether you fall into one or more of the following categories:
- You are in your second (or subsequent) marriage.
- You are the proprietor of one or more companies.
- Own property in several states.
- Have a disabled family member
- Parent of minor children.
- Your children are difficult.
- You are childless.
- Want to donate a portion or the entirety of your estate to charity.
- You have a sizable amount of money in 401(k)s or IRAs.
- Recently divorced.
- You recently experienced the loss of a spouse or another family member.
- You have a taxable estate under federal or state law.
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If you fall into one or more of these categories, you will need the counseling and guidance of an experienced estate planning attorney while drafting your estate planning documents. Otherwise, a probate lawyer, your state’s revenue department, or the Internal Revenue Service could earn the lion’s share of your assets. Meanwhile, seek legal advice on issues you don’t understand.
Your heirs can end up paying thousands of dollars later on to correct any mistakes made during the estate planning process. Due to your failure to hire a qualified estate planning attorney when you are still alive. However, this could place them in financial difficulty. Particularly if your estate was structured to ensure their continued financial viability. Perhaps, following your death.