A common question many people have is: what do estate planning attorneys do? Well, estate planning is an area of the law that deals with planning how you want what you own to be distributed after your death. It also addresses different ways you can plan for your future and that of your family. In that regard, estate planning attorneys can provide the advice you need to successfully navigate through all of your available choices, both financial and otherwise.
What type of work does an estate planning attorney do?
Basically, an estate planning attorney is one who specializes in preparing clients for the possibility of mental incapacity, as well as the distribution of their estate after their death. Estate planning attorneys can offer customized assistance based on each client’s specific needs and objectives. For instance, some clients need to involve their family members in the administration of their estates, but others may not. Your estate planning attorney will explain all of the options available to you and help you determine the steps you should take to accomplish your goals. An attorney is also helpful in making sure your plan meets any specific guidelines for your state, so all aspects of your plan will be valid, and less likely to be disputed.
Your estate planning attorney should have appropriate knowledge and experience
In order to be effective at advising clients about estate planning, it is important that an estate planning attorney have sufficient knowledge about the applicable laws in your state, as well as experience in applying those laws to drafting estate planning documents. If you are still wondering what do estate planning attorneys do, they often draft documents such as wills, trusts, and powers of attorney. But, if they do not have the requisite experience and skill, an estate plan may not operate the way it was intended, or it may not be valid. Attorneys must also have sufficient experience to be able to tailor your estate plan to meet your needs and expectations.
The basics of estate Planning
If it is your objective to make sure your family is prepared for what happens after your death, you need to create an appropriate estate plan. Additionally, an estate plan can prepare you and your family in case you become incapacitated in a way that prevents you from handling your own affairs. There are many different estate planning tools which can be used, depending on your needs and any specific needs of your family. With a comprehensive estate plan, you can be prepared for both incapacity and death.
Why it is wise to plan ahead
Being prepared for the future, especially unexpected situations, should be a principal goal for everyone. Estate planning gives you the opportunity to determine who you want to inherit your property after your death. With appropriate planning, you can even take steps to reduce your estate taxes, if that is an issue for you. In the event that you become incapacitated, temporarily or permanently, your estate plan can also provide your family the power to manage your affairs. This is necessary if you are unable to make financial and medical decisions for yourself.
Using estate planning to prepare for your death
What do estate planning attorneys do? They can help you create an estate plan that prepares your family for your death. A plan must address paying off your debts and then establishing who will receive your property after those debts have been paid. More often than not, people choose to create a will to accomplish this goal. Wills are basically written instructions about how to handle your estate upon your death.
Estate planning for the possibility of mental incapacity
Just like planning for death, it is also a good idea to plan for the possibility that you may become incapacitated. In the event you suffer an injury or medical condition resulting in your inability to handle your own affairs, you will need to appoint someone to make those important decisions for you. One of the main issues to be addressed in an incapacity plan is providing for your personal care and medical needs. The other issue would be your financial affairs. Without a sufficient incapacity plan in place, it would probably be necessary to appoint a court-supervised guardian to care for you. However, guardianships can be very costly and often require that you give up complete control of your affairs. Therefore, planning ahead is crucial.
Download our FREE estate planning worksheet! If you have questions regarding estate planning attorneys, or any other estate planning matters, contact Gersh Law Offices, P.S.C. for a consultation either online or by calling us at (502) 423-7023.