Estate planning and administration isn’t something most of us need to think about regularly – but if someone in your life passes away, it’s a topic that suddenly becomes very important.
While people pass away, money doesn’t. When a person dies, their estate lives on, in the form of assets and debt. After a probate court determines the will to be valid, it assigns an executor to the estate. This person is responsible for doing things the deceased can no longer do, like paying debts, pursuing claims, and facilitating the disposition of property in a will.
The process of preparing for this is estate planning in a nutshell. As any estate planning FAQ will tell you, it’s better to write a will and decide what will happen after your death long before it becomes a real question facing you and your loved ones. The sooner you have a comprehensive and clear will, the better.
An estate lawyer can help you with all of the details of estate planning and administration. It’s extremely important to get the legal details right because even a simple error could mean the entire document is not recognized. With the right legal help and plenty of time, you can be sure that your wishes are respected and that your loved ones don’t need to stress.
If you want to be sure that your assets go to the right place when you die, you need to take advantage of estate attorney services and set up your will ahead of time. While you might be able o write a will without a lawyer, having one on hand will ensure that the process is done correctly. The assets of a deceased person can be the center of some very difficult struggles, so having it all in writing will be useful for your family once you’re gone. Beneficiary versus will struggles won’t be as common. So, save your loved ones some heartache by doing it correctly while you’re alive.
A lawyer can answer all of your questions. Are wills filed with the county? it will depend on where you are. Same with the question of our wills filed with the court. Since the answers to most questions will be highly local, you want to be sure that your lawyer understands local law. By working with someone who specializes in estate services, you’ll get all the support you need to write your will correctly.
Many of us do not routinely deal with estate planning, which is probably for the best. It’s a messy and complicated business with a lot of regulations and fine print. That’s why specialized lawyers exist — to help do the work for you. Here are some common reasons people often hire estate lawyers:
- Planning and Writing a Will
Making your will may not be as easy as it seems. Many states actually require that you have this done by or with a professional estate lawyer, as even just one small misstep can completely void your intentions. Many people don’t like thinking about death, but making a will is one of the most important things you can do to secure your family’s future. Some 41% of Baby Boomers do not yet have a will, and around 71% of adults under age 34 don’t, either. Unfortunately, you never know what might happen — but you can at least control what happens after you’re gone with a good will.
- Power of Attorney
Power of attorney in healthcare terms means that you grant another person the power to make healthcare related decisions for you in the event that you are unable to do so yourself. About 38% of adults have a power of attorney, which can be valuable especially for unmarried people, since usually the spouse fills that role. An estate lawyer can help you draft a power of attorney to make sure you get the care you want if you’re ever unable to say so yourself.
- Probate and Trust Administration
On the other hand, if you are on the other end estate planning — dealing with the assets and debts someone has left behind for you, for example — then you will likely want an estate lawyer who’s also versed in probate law. You’ll need to validate a will, if any exists, choose an executor, deal with the estate taxes, identify heirs, and distribute anything accordingly. This can be a long and painful process, especially for family members. Don’t keep the burden to yourself; hire a professional to help ease the process.
Remember that you don’t have to do everything yourself. Hiring a lawyer can save you time, headaches, and even money by helping you get it right the first time through.