Different people have different estate planning needs, and there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. With that said, estate planning generally begins with the creation of a will and a trust. This is foundational, and it’s something that should happen before any other estate planning actions are taken.
While it is possible to draft these key documents yourself, it’s often best to hire a professional. An attorney for wills and trusts can ensure that you’re dotting each i and crossing each t, while also guiding you toward strategies that will preserve the value of your estate.
Ensuring Legal Trusts and Wills in Your State
One particular reason why it’s best to hire lawyers for wills and trusts: State laws can vary greatly, and in some cases they are quite complex.
For example, state laws differ on such issues as:
- Who can serve as an administrator/executor of your estate;
- Who can be a witness to your estate;
- Which rules and regulations govern the signing of a will or trust.
You can’t necessarily trust a quick Google search to provide you with accurate, up-to-date, state-specific instruction. Hiring a wills and estates attorney may be necessary.
Your DIY Wills, Trusts, and Estates Outline May Fall Short
Another point about lawyers for wills and trusts: They can often come through when DIY estate planning documents fail.
Sure, you can find a downloadable wills, trusts, and estates outline on the Web, but there are common problems with these materials. For example:
- They typically only handle extremely simple estates;
- They don’t actually give you legal advice or tax-advantage strategies;
- You can easily make an error and have no one to correct it—and fixing the error may ultimately prove costly.
The bottom line: Estate planning is highly personal and really needs to be handled case-by-case. To ensure the development of sound legal trusts and wills, working with a law firm is key.
Estate Planning Complications
To build on that last point, many individuals and families find that their estate planning needs are fairly complex—and that they really need someone to help guide them through those complications.
Some common estate planning complications:
- You’ve been married multiple times;
- You are a business owner;
- You own real estate in multiple states;
- You have minor children from a previous marriage or relationship, or other family legal issues;
- You would like to bequeath some of your assets to a charity or non-profit.
These are just some of the complications that can call for a legal expert.
You’ll Need Ongoing Support
One final reason to hire an attorney to help with wills and trusts: Estate planning isn’t a one-time thing. You’ll need to revisit the estate plan as your life and your family change. Having an attorney who is there for you, ready to help you develop your estate plan and keep it current, can be truly invaluable.
What’s more, even those who have simple estate planning needs now may find them growing more complex down the road. Having a trusted legal ally on whom you can call is critical.
Contact Our Estate Planning Team Today
Whether you’re just beginning to explore the difference between wills and trusts or you’re ready to put your documents in place, contact Singh Law Firm today.
We are a seasoned team of estate planning experts, and our job is listening closely to each client, then helping them craft the plan that’s right for them.
To start your estate planning or schedule an annual review, we invite you to get in touch with the Singh Law Firm estate planning team today.