One of the most common misconceptions about estate planning is that it’s really all about the will. Many individuals believe that, so long as they create a will and keep it current, their estate planning needs are all taken care of. While wills are certainly important, even foundational to estate planning, we’d argue that they’re almost never sufficient for achieving your estate planning goals.
At the very least, most people need a will and a trust. That’s where estate planning can get complicated, but the good news is, you don’t have to pursue it alone. Reach out to a wills, trusts, and estates attorney for assistance getting each of these key documents in place.
Why Hire a Will and Trust Attorney?
There are a number of reasons why it makes sense to enlist the services of a will and trust attorney; here are just a few of them.
Having a trust can help you keep your estate out of probate.
A will is important because it allows you to articulate how you would like your assets to be distributed upon your death; to put it bluntly, your will answers the question of who gets what.
And yet, actually settling your estate is never quite so simple. Even with a will, your estate will likely go through the probate process, which means there will be a delay before your heirs receive the assets you left them. There may also be some legal hoops your heirs have to jump through, and potentially even some expenses. Naturally, you want to help them avoid this process if at all possible.
That’s where having a trust becomes critical. Trusts enable you to shield your assets from the probate process and make life much easier for the people you leave behind. A wills, trusts, and estates attorney can show you how.
What about living wills and healthcare directives?
It’s also important to remember that there is much more to estate planning than the “who gets what” question. For example, estate planning is also about preparing for the possibility that you could become medically incapacitated in some way, unable to make your own financial, business, or healthcare decisions.
There are some valuable estate planning documents that can help you get ready for this possibility, including living wills, powers of attorney, and even living trusts. But again, a will alone is insufficient. Work with a living wills lawyer to be sure your estate plan is robust and ready for all contingencies.
Don’t forget about tax planning.
As you consider the legacy you’ll leave for your family, it’s only natural to want that legacy to be as vast and as valuable as can be. Sometimes, taxes can take a big bite out of your estate, and leave your heirs with much less than what you’d hoped for. The right tax strategies can help you avert this fate and minimize the estate taxes you owe, but again, that’s something that will require some professional guidance.
A living wills lawyer, in addition to helping you get the right documents in place, can also help you generate an estate plan that helps you retain the value of your assets and keep tax burdens to a minimum.
Work with a Wills, Trusts, and Estates Attorney
Ultimately, there are a number of reasons why it can pay off for you to handle your estate planning with guidance from an experienced legal professional.
To speak with a will and trust attorney at Singh Law Firm, reach out to us today; we are always happy to set up an appointment for you to come talk with us about any and all of your estate planning questions.