According to a recent survey, 57% of US adults don’t have an estate plan. It’s a shocking statistic, given the lip service paid to the importance of wills, with 76% of Americans saying they believe the document is important.
Perhaps a major reason people avoid estate planning is that it forces them to confront their mortality. But not putting your affairs in order regarding what happens to your possessions once you’re gone can leave your dependants in trouble.
To avoid any confusion about what happens to your property, hire the best estate planner you can find. Sure, you may still be able to do the planning on your own, but having someone with a firm grasp of estate laws has many incredible advantages.
In today’s blog, we highlight clear ways an estate planner can prove beneficial to you.
An estate plan is ultimately no good if it doesn’t comply with the law. That’s why it’s so important to work with someone who’s thoroughly familiar with trust and probate law and knows how to navigate all the steps in estate planning correctly.
Note that estate laws vary from state to state and are always evolving. A seasoned estate planning attorney keeps abreast with all developments in the area of estate law and can expertly handle planning for different types of estates.
The DIY planning options offer you all the instructions you need to complete the necessary documents. But the margin for error can be massive, and these errors can affect the validity of your will and other documents.
A professional planner carefully monitors all the documents to ensure that the structure and phrasing of each document completely adhere to the law.
Your Wishes Are Accurately Captured
The primary reason you’re making an estate plan is that you want your possessions to be handled in a manner that reflects your final wishes.
A big problem with DIY planning documents is that their complex legal language may not always say what you want them to. Even when they’re highly detailed, these papers still cannot capture everything you want them to like a seasoned estate planner can.
Given that an estate planning lawyer deals with the intricacies of legal language on a daily basis, they know how to accurately communicate your wishes in all legal documents. They can fully customize the documents to reflect your every wish and to suit your circumstances. This is particularly important when you’re dealing with more complicated situations, including disability trusts.
Better Distribution of Your Assets
Just like a financial planner can help guide you on how to stay on top of your personal finances, an estate planner can provide the estate planning tips you need to better distribute your assets. Remember, you’re dealing with many different possessions, including:
- Bank accounts
- Personal property
If you’re struggling to know how to go about distributing these items in a fitting manner, you may want to seek the help of a professional.
An estate planner provides the objectivity necessary to make the best possible plan based on your family dynamics. They bring a voice of reason into the planning process so your plan helps protect your dependants down the road.
Documents Stay Up-To-Date
A common misconception about writing a will is that it’s a one-time endeavor. In reality, you may need to update your estate plan several times during your lifetime.
Many times, decades pass between the first drafting of an estate plan and its eventual implementation. It’s likely that the plans you once formalized will change in the course of time, as will your wishes, goals, and circumstances. It’s only sensible that you’d adjust your will and other documents to reflect these changes.
Some of the life changes that may warrant updating your estate planning documents include marriage, the birth of children, divorce, the death of your spouse, inheritances, and major purchases. An estate planning attorney can help you regularly review your documents and capture any relevant changes in your life.
Save Money on Taxes
Depending on the size of your estate, taxes can prove expensive. With the help of an estate attorney, it’s possible to lessen the burden. These professionals know how to structure an estate plan in a way that helps minimize estate taxes, benefiting your dependants.
Before creating your estate plan, your attorney will first take an all-encompassing look at your estate. They’ll then determine how much tax liability you owe and find a way to help you legally reduce the bill.
Shorter Probate Process
The probate process involves distributing your assets in court after your death. The process can still take place even if you have a will.
The typical probate process can be lengthy and complicated. It can also prove quite expensive. Moreover, there’s always the risk that your assets may be distributed in a manner that doesn’t reflect your wishes.
A seasoned attorney can help make things easier in the event of probate. Even better is they can help you avoid probate altogether. They can do so by helping you create a trust that won’t need verification by the court.
But even if probate does prove unavoidable, an experienced attorney knows how to navigate it in a manner that saves everyone time.
Reap the Benefits of Hiring the Best Estate Planner
While there are many aspects of financial management you can tackle on your own, it’s not advisable to take the same approach when it comes to estate planning. Given the high stakes involved, it’s best to work with the best estate planner around to get everything done right.
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