As we age, we learn the importance of planning. And when it comes to estate planning, you should be as proactive and thorough as possible. While some people may choose to do it themselves, this isn’t recommended when it comes to something as complex and serious as estate planning. You want to ensure that your will is honored, and your possessions are passed on to the people of your choosing. If you aren’t sure if you should hire an estate planning attorney, read on for eight ways they can protect you and your loved ones as you age.
#1: They save you time. When you try planning your estate, it can make you feel like you’re chasing your own tail. You have so many decisions to make and research to do. On top of that, this can be a stressful and emotional time for you. An estate planning attorney can guide you through the process in a seamless and prompt manner. You’ll save yourself precious time that would be better spent with family and loved ones, instead of doing research on the laws in your state.
#2: They save you from errors. It’s imperative that you cross all of your tee’s and dot your I’s when filling out the forms. One error and your family could lose half of what you thought you left them. While it can seem like an easy solution to use a form you found online, if not filled out correctly, even the smallest errors can cost a lot of money in legal fees for your family down the road as they try to sort it out.
#3: They factor in all circumstances. When you enlist the services of an estate planning attorney, they know the situations that demand a little extra attention. Things like owning a business, a disabled family member, owning real estate in more than one state, and other circumstances need to be thought about when you’re planning for the future.
#4: They know your state laws. Each state is unique in how they handle estates after a person passes, and if you aren’t well versed in your state laws, it’s very easy to miss something. An estate planning attorney has the knowledge and the trained eye to handle the paperwork, signatures, witnesses, and the many other factors that come with the territory.
#5: They know how to structure your assets. When you hire an estate planning attorney, they can structure your assets using the proper methods and practices. Some assets will need to be protected by a trust while others will require more detailed paperwork. This is not an easy task for someone who has never had to deal with structuring assets, and it’s best to bring in a professional.
#6: They’ll serve as a guide. You’ll notice when you start planning your estate, you have a lot of questions. An estate planning attorney will be able to provide you answers and guidance during this time in your life. They’ll give you intelligent and thoughtful advice that can help you when getting insurance, writing your will, and much more. And the best attorneys will also act as a counselor during estate planning because they understand it can be a difficult time for some people.
#7: They can help you no matter where you are in your planning. Whether you’ve started estate planning on your own, or you’re just taking the first step, a good attorney can begin wherever you are. Some people start a little later in life than they meant to, and that’s okay. You should still contact an attorney and get started. If you’ve already started planning your estate, but find that it is much more complicated than you anticipated, then go ahead and contact an experienced professional to jump in and get you back on track.
#8: They offer a sophisticated approach to more sensitive factors. When deteriorating health problems are involved, estate planning will be more sensitive, and it will also get a little more complicated. When you hire an estate planning attorney, you’ll be prepared for anything that comes up during the process.
Even if you’re not sure that you want to hire an estate planning attorney just yet, take the time to meet with one. This meeting will, at least, prepare you for when you are ready to hire someone. Remember, your attorney is here to protect you during this time and make the process simple. When you properly prepare, your loved ones won’t have to be unprotected after you are gone.