Estate Planning Services: Do You Need a Lawyer?

Most people don’t like thinking about death. But if you own assets, it’s crucial you spend at least a little time thinking about it. Planning for your own death is empowering because it puts you in control of what happens to your wealth when you’re gone.

Do you own a house? Do you own any other assets? You may want a lawyer’s estate planning services.

In this article, we’ll talk about estate planning and whether you need an estate planning attorney.

Legal Estate Planning Services

Estate planning is more complex than writing a simple will. It’s not difficult to name your beneficiaries on your 401k or other bank accounts and any lawyer can help you with that. So why use an estate planning attorney?

Despite all the great legal resources on the internet, there are some pitfalls to do-it-yourself estate planning. If you don’t use the correct documents or fill them out the right way, they may be invalid.

Unique Situations

Your personal financial situation is unique, but most online legal forms are generic. It’s hard to determine whether the forms fit your exact circumstances.

An estate planning lawyer helps you create an estate plan that’s as individual as you are. Death has a lot of tax implications and an estate planning attorney can help you find the best way to avoid saddling your heirs with unnecessary taxes.

Iron-Clad Last Will and Testament

You don’t want your heirs dealing with lawsuits and challenges to the will. You also don’t want them fighting each other. Estate planning legal services prepare a will that’s hard to contest after your death.

An estate attorney helps you identify all your assets and how best to distribute them. Did you know that some assets should not be in your will?

You don’t include retirement accounts, insurance policies, or joint bank accounts. By leaving these out of the will, your heirs inherit them faster. A will must go through a court process first which slows everything down.

Any type of property you can pass straight to your beneficiaries should not go in the will.

Trust Properties

There are other ways of distributing your assets after you die, including through a trust. A trust is separate from your will. Anything included in the trust doesn’t go in the will.

Consult a financial advisor about whether a trust is beneficial for your situation.

Business Interests

Do you own a business? Do you have business partners? An estate planning attorney helps you sort out the succession and tax issues that come after you die.

Letters of Intent and Instruction

Funeral instructions and personal desires and wishes should go in a letter of intent or letter of instruction. These are informal documents that convey your personal wishes. Your heirs can read these documents before the will is approved by the court.

Take Care of Your Heirs

You can avoid leaving your heirs hanging and confused by using estate planning services. Experienced attorneys guide you through the process and show you how all the pieces fit together – from wills to trusts and everything between.

Do you have more legal questions? Find answers on the blog!

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