Last Updated on June 21, 2022 by azamnie
The future is largely unpredictable, which is why planning for any emergencies is a smart move. Most people are familiar with the last will and testament, which is just one of the estate planning documents. A last will and testament is a legal document that allows the person making it to name the recipients of their property and explain how their wealth will be distributed upon their demise.
Other estate planning documents include the following:
- Health care directives
- Powers of attorney
Developing estate planning documents ensures that all your assets are protected and that your heirs are well cared for. It also allows for the careful and orderly distribution of your property to avoid any conflicts that might ensue among the family members. In most states, the will must be written and signed by the testator (person making it) and two witnesses present at the will execution.
To ensure that your estate planning process goes as smoothly as possible, you will need the services of an experienced estate planning attorney. This way, you get access to customized legal support and advice throughout the entire process. Your estate planning lawyer in Monroe, NC, will provide you with insightful legal advice to meet your specific needs.
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Benefits of Hiring an Estate Planning Attorney
While you can opt to do the whole process alone using online service providers, you run the risk of making legal mistakes that render your documents invalid. Hiring an estate planning lawyer will benefit you in a number of ways.
They review and update your documents as necessary
Estate planning is not a one-off endeavor. As life goes on and there are changes in your life, you might want to alter your documents to reflect your current changes. For instance, changes in your financial situation or personal life, such as divorce, will hugely impact your future plans.
Your attorney will look through your documents regularly if there is a need to adjust them to meet any goals. In other cases, your lawyer will re-evaluate the whole document to see if there is a way to minimize estate taxes or avoid probate.
They ensure your documents are compliant with the law
Probate and trust laws are state-specific, so working with a licensed estate planning attorney means your documents are drafted according to the current state law. Moreover, the law tends to change from time to time, which is why you need someone who is up to date with these changes whenever they occur.
Your documents will accurately reflect your wishes
One of the major risks of handling your estate planning without legal guidance is your documents might not say what you intended them to say. The law governing estate planning is technical. There is a lot of jargon that might confuse people who aren’t conversant with the law.
When filling out online estate planning documents, you might end up misinterpreting some of the questions, which will result in a document that won’t work for you. In fact, a leading Sydney will dispute lawyer explains that this is one of the leading reasons wills are disputed, not because someone is trying to get more money but because the will isn’t an accurate reflection of your wishes. Working with an experienced estate planning lawyer will help you avoid these pitfalls. They understand the law and will ensure your documents are in accordance with your wishes.
The drafting and execution of your documents will be professionally done
Your estate planning lawyer will professionally draft and execute all your documents. Online service providers are hardly professional, as they cannot witness signatures or notarize. Your attorney, on the other hand, will handle the whole process from start to finish, arranging for witnesses and notary as needed.
All your assets will be covered
Wills and trusts do not automatically cover all assets. Some types of beneficiary designations usually pass separately from your will or trust. Your estate planning attorney will help you retitle accounts and change beneficiary destinations to ensure all your assets are accounted for. This is an essential step that will prevent any misunderstandings and legal complexities later.
Access to legal help at any time
When you hire an estate planning attorney, you are entitled to professional help any time you need it. Moreover, even your loved ones can reach out whenever they have questions regarding your estate. A relationship with your estate planning lawyer is one that usually takes a couple of years.
This is why you should hire someone you can trust to guide your family through the legal process and lead a smooth transition following your demise or incapacity.
Estate planning is not only for the elderly. Ideally, everyone should develop estate planning documents catering to health care and finances. This is especially important for people with children who are minors. Naming the guardian of your children and planning for their futures will give you peace of mind as you go about your daily activities. Life is unpredictable, and the last thing you want is to leave your family stranded and confused in the event of untimely death.