TOP 4 REASONS YOU MUST HIRE AN ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY

If you’re ready to start getting your personal affairs in order, it is important to consider hiring an estate planning attorney. An Estate Planning Attorney offers a number of incredible benefits. Planning what will happen to your assets and personal belongings after you pass away may seem challenging, but the truth is that it is a very important part of ensuring your wishes are respected. Even if you talk with your family members now about your personal wishes, you must understand that during the grieving process, even the closest relatives may struggle to remember exactly what your wishes were. Talking with an experienced attorney at Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., is the integral first step in ensuring your affairs go smoothly after you pass away. Here are the top four reasons you need to hire an Estate Planning Attorney:

  1. An Estate Planning Attorney can advise you of all available options for your estate.

    First off, your Estate Planning Attorney will discuss your personal assets with you. If you have real estate you’d like to sell before you pass away, your lawyer will discuss this with you. If you plan to leave your assets to a particular relative, you’ll also be able to determine your options with the assistance of an experienced attorney. An attorney can discuss the need for basic estate planning documents, such as a Last Will and Testament, or a more complicated Trust document.

  2. An Estate Planning Attorney can prepare all the necessary documents to ensure your wishes are realized.

    Your attorney can also help you create a Last Will and Testament. This is an important document that showcases what your particular wishes are when it comes to dispersing your financial and physical assets to your family members or close friends. If you want your belongings or financial assets to be distributed to a company or charity, you can also specify this in your will. When you create a will, you will have the option to leave specific items to individuals, but you may also choose to divide your estate by percentages.

If you wish to allow certain property to transfer directly to a beneficiary, certain documents can be drafted to allow said property to pass outside of the probate process.  Your attorney will go over the options that you have for this type of transfer, to determine if it is the best course of action for you.

  1. An Estate Planning Attorney can advise you as to any possible tax consequences with inheritance.

    An Estate Planning Attorney will be able to discuss certain tax complications with you and how they may affect your beneficiaries. Did you know that beneficiaries sometimes have to pay inheritance tax on certain items, depending on the value of the asset? It is encouraged that you speak to an experienced attorney at Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., who can offer guidance in minimizing your beneficiary’s tax liability to ensure they receive as much as possible from you.
  2. An Estate Planning Attorney can advise you of important documents you need in your daily life.

    One of the most important reasons to meet with an experienced Estate Planning Attorney is that they will help you create a medical power of attorney and a durable financial power of attorney. These two powers of attorney are special documents that are useable during your lifetime and cease at the time of your death.

The Healthcare Power of Attorney covers medical care decisions that can be made by the family member or friends that you have specifically designated.  You’ll be able to specify your particular wishes when it comes to your medical care; however, you may also be able to choose an individual you trust who can make medical choices for you. If you become unable to make your own decisions, this person (or persons) will be able to make those choices on your behalf.

The Durable Financial Power of Attorney allows the designated people you have chosen to make important financial decisions for you, in the event you are unable to do so yourself.  This document governs most all financials decisions that you make on a daily basis, so it is important to pick people that you trust to handle your affairs.  An attorney can discuss those options with you in detail.

Final Thoughts

While no one wants to think about what will happen after they pass away, it’s important to meet with an attorney to ensure your final wishes are followed as closely as possible.  The experienced Estate Planning Attorneys at Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., are available to discuss all of your estate planning needs.  Call us today to schedule your free estate planning consultation.

© Zellar & Zellar, Attorneys at Law, Inc., 2018; All Rights Reserved.

What is the best time in my life to start thinking about planning my estate? i.e. Will? Trust?

Planning an estate and writing a will is an uncomfortable project for many people to think about but it is often an invaluable legal step to protect yourself and your loved ones. Not only will it help to protect the deceased’s family, it will also allow an individual to plan exactly how and their assets will be transferred and who will make decisions related to their finances and health when they are no longer able to do so.

There is no perfect time in life when it is necessary to write a will. The primary things to consider when deciding to make an estate plan are if an individual has any dependents, their state of health, the income a family or loved ones are relying on and the assets of the family. Any time that any member of a family such as a spouse, child, or grandchild relies on another member financially, it is time to begin considering estate planning.

In addition to estate planning which will cover a wide variety of legal and financial issues in the event of a death, there are also some other considerations to make. Those who do not have a spouse or dependents should consider a will after any major life events such as marriage or birth of children. This includes the development of a retirement fund or even the purchasing of a new home. While these belongings will find their way to the family may eventually get these belongings, a legally-binding will can ensure the decedent’s wishes are adhered to and also help to expedite the probate process.

The final consideration to make is the development of a trust overseen by a trustee. In these fiduciary agreements, all assets are immediately transferred to a trustee in order to avoid probate. The trustee trust agreement will dictate how the assets held in trust will be transferred to loved ones and can provide for distribution over time instead of all at once. While this will require a little more planning from a number of parties, it will come with a wide variety of advantages including more control over how assets will be transferred following their death.