There are tons of reasons why people meet with an elder law or estate planning lawyer. Others, however, put off that first meeting for a long time. Either they think they don’t need to plan their estate, or they think it’s an easy process they can handle on their own. After all, how hard can writing a will be, right?
The truth is, the right estate planner isn’t just a good idea, it’s essential to making sure you’re your final wishes are properly followed while protecting your assets. Learn the five most important reasons why you need a trust and estate planning attorney to get your final affairs in order and protect your assets and heirs.
Reasons You Need a Trust and Estate Planning Attorney
Put quite simply, a trust and estate planning attorney is essential for getting things right. They can help your heirs to avoid probate procedures, cut down on tax liability, protect your assets and your beneficiaries, and just generally avoid the process becoming a mess.
Avoid Probate Courts
When your estate isn’t properly disposed and planned, it will have to go through the probate process. This means that the courts will dig through all of your assets, and they’ll make the determination of what your estate owes to whom, and who gets what. Your final wishes may be taken into account, but they may just as easily be ignored. Nobody wants that, and an attorney can help ensure this doesn’t happen.
Cutting Tax Liability
Federal and state inheritance taxes can present a significant drain on your estate, and just because they’re low at one point doesn’t mean they won’t change later. You could start with zero inheritance tax in your area, but by the time you die, a later government could institute a high tax. You want someone in place who can help protect your assets against tax liability regardless of what changes down the road.
When someone dies, everyone in the world shows up with their palm out. This means creditors your beneficiaries didn’t even know existed could show up and demand high payments or place liens on the estate. A good financial plan will help to protect assets from these tactics, and ensure that your beneficiaries get the inheritance you intend.
There are laws in place regarding what happens when you leave an inheritance to a minor beneficiary. They will require a conservator or guardian to oversee their inheritance until they come of legal age. This can cause a great deal of discord and conflict among families, as well as running the risk of having someone squander the inheritance. Setting up a trust can help protect beneficiaries, but it requires a certain degree of knowledge.
Avoid a Mess with Your Estate Plan
In general, a trust and estate planning attorney will help to avoid your final wishes becoming a mess in terms of family conflict, taxes, courts, and other issues. From making decisions when you become incapacitated to ensuring your wishes are met, an attorney is vital to your estate plan.
If you’re in the Cuyahoga County region and you need help, look no further than Stano Law. Contact us for a consultation about your needs today.