If you’ve never worked with an estate planning attorney before, you may have some questions about the role they play. The reality is it looks a little different from one client to the next. A good estate planning lawyer will tailor their services to each client, providing guidance and expertise however it’s needed.
With that said, there are a few primary ways in which estate planning lawyers assist their clients. In this post, we’ll outline some examples.
What to Expect from an Estate Planning Law Firm
- An estate planning lawyer can help you determine your needs. It’s not at all uncommon for an individual to walk into an estate planning law firm unsure of just what their needs really are. Sometimes, it may be as simple as completing a will. In other instances, there may be a need to establish a trust, or to draft a power of attorney. A skilled attorney will help you think through all the ways in which you can protect your legacy and provide for the people you love.
- An estate planning lawyer helps you develop and implement a strategy. Estate planning isn’t just about filling out some forms. It’s about ensuring you have all the documents you need to secure your estate and to make sure the people you love are all well taken care of. This might mean assembling several estate planning documents. It typically involves tax planning, which helps you preserve the full value of your estate. It can also involve strategizing ways to keep your estate out of probate court. The right attorney will help you consider the big picture, and make sure that all components of your estate plan are working harmoniously.
- Your estate planning lawyer can also help you keep your plan up to date. An estate plan isn’t something you set and forget. It needs to be reviewed and amended at regular intervals. Actually, you should probably update your estate plan roughly once a year. It’s also wise to update it when your life goes through a major change, such as marriage, divorce, having a child, adopting a child, gaining significant assets, losing significant assets, or simply changing your goals. An estate planning lawyer can help you ensure your plan is current.
- An estate planning expert can advise on charitable and legacy giving. Maybe, in addition to providing for your loved ones when you die, you’d also like to leave something behind for a charity or non-profit that you support. A lawyer will be able to counsel you on the right way to make a donation through your estate.
- Estate planning lawyers can also advise on custody and guardianship issues. Zealous to make sure your minor children are properly cared for, should you and your partner both die unexpectedly? That’s something in which an estate planning lawyer can provide real expertise.
- An estate planning lawyer can help you with healthcare directives. Also note that a key part of estate planning is making sure your wishes are carried out respectfully, even if you become medically incapacitated. That typically involves healthcare directives and/or a power of attorney. Again, this is an area in which estate planning lawyers bring real expertise.
Understanding the Role of an Estate Planning Lawyer
These are just a few examples of ways in which estate planning attorneys serve their clients. If you’d like to learn more about how a good law firm can support you in your personal estate planning goals, reach out to Singh Law Firm. We’re happy to talk with you at your next opportunity, and to share more about what an estate planning lawyer can do for you.