When you pass away, you want your assets to go to your heirs, not to government entities or creditors looking to put their hands into the pockets of your estate. Unfortunately, when people die, everyone in the world shows up with their palms up, looking for their cut. It’s important to properly protect your assets and ensure that they go where you want them to.
Doing this can require more than just a simple will. It requires a knowledgeable touch by someone experienced with the intricacies of elder law. Learn how an experienced and knowledgeable estate planning lawyer can protect your assets and keep your money in the family, where it belongs.
Avoiding Probate Procedures
Probate is the procedure an estate goes through when someone dies, to dispose of the estate’s assets. In short, if you die without properly protecting your assets, the courts are going to dig through the estate and decide who gets what and why. Your wishes may or may not be considered. An estate planning lawyer can help to avoid this by drafting your estate plan properly.
Setting Up Trusts
A will is, relatively speaking, easy to draft. It’s a matter of cataloging your assets and determining who you want to have them. If done properly, it will help to avoid probate while protecting your assets from creditors and the tax man. However, it’s illegal for you to set up a trust on your own. You need an attorney’s help to do it.
In addition, you’ll need to arrange to fund the trust, and understand how the trust is managed—that is, anything you put into the trust is the property of the trust, and no longer yours. You can arrange to access it, but you need to set everything up properly. There are a lot of pitfalls to avoid, and a lawyer will help you avoid them.
Being Clear and Concise
It’s a distinct possibility that after you die, no matter how rock solid your plans were, someone will come along and try to challenge them in court. If you want them to hold up, they need to be drafted properly. A single mis-wording or unclear phrasing can skew the entire process and see your beneficiaries lose everything.
The right attorney, on the other hand, will ensure that your documents are properly phrased, clear, concise and entirely unambiguous. They will make sure that your will, trust, powers of attorney or any other estate planning documents are designed so that they will hold up in court regardless of any challenges you might face.
Seeking Help from an Estate Planning Lawyer
The documents you draft for your estate plan are the tools that execute your plan. Just like you wouldn’t use a bargain-basement wrench to drive a nail into a board, you don’t want the wrong or amateur documents to establish your estate plan.
If you’re in the Cuyahoga County, OH, area and you need help drafting the right estate plan, an estate planning lawyer from the Stano Law Firm can help. Give us a call for a consultation today.