Rob skillfully guides clients through the complicated process of estate and wealth transfer planning. As a frequent speaker and teacher of advanced estate planning, he remains abreast of current trends.
Find an attorney who welcomes your questions, and explains complex matters in terms you understand fully (not in legalese that you can’t translate). An experienced attorney will have encountered many challenges in this area of law and have the knowledge to handle them successfully.
Choosing the Right Attorney
When it comes to estate planning, you want an attorney with the knowledge and experience necessary to guide you through this complex process. It is important to find an attorney that not only understands the legal issues involved but who also takes your family’s unique needs into account.
You can start by asking your friends, family members, coworkers, and neighbors about their experiences with an attorney. Then, use your research to narrow down your list of attorneys to those who seem like a good fit for you.
When you meet with an attorney, make sure to bring as much information as possible about your finances and family situation. This includes the names and numbers of bank and brokerage accounts, real estate titles, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, debts, and beneficiary designations. Your attorney will review these items and use them to create a comprehensive estate plan. Then, they will consider state and federal laws to ensure that your assets are transferred according to your wishes.
Identifying Your Goals
Identifying goals for your estate is one of the first things you should do when it comes to making an estate plan. This helps your attorney understand what you are trying to accomplish and will ensure that all of your documents meet your expectations.
Your goals may include mitigating or avoiding taxes, providing for the orderly distribution and stewardship of property, planning for incapacity, and preserving assets. Generally, your goals should be specific and measurable.
It’s never too early or too late to make an estate plan. It will allow you to control what happens to your property after death or incapacitation and determine who will care for your loved ones. It can also help reduce estate taxes, which can be expensive. An experienced Barrhead Estate Planning Lawyer can assist you with establishing your goals and setting up the necessary documents. They can also help you avoid problems like family conflict after your death and the loss of valuable assets.
A comprehensive estate plan contains several documents, including a financial power of attorney, an advance health care directive, a living will, and a trust or last will. Together, these documents help your family manage your affairs during incapacity and settle your estate after you pass away.
A Financial Power of Attorney allows you to grant an individual (usually a spouse or close family member) the authority to make financial, legal, and medical decisions on your behalf in the event that you become incapacitated. This document may be revocable or irrevocable.
An advance medical directive presents your expressed wishes for your healthcare in the event that you are terminally ill. It may include a request for pain management or the ability to donate organs. It also gives an individual the authority to close your accounts and file tax returns on your behalf. A seasoned team can take the guesswork out of creating these documents and streamline the process so that you save money.
Managing Your Assets
Managing your assets is an important part of estate planning. It allows you to specify how your property will be transferred after death, minimize taxes and other expenses, set up arrangements for disability and care, and relinquish funds to charity.
A Barrhead Estate Planning Lawyer can help you develop and execute a comprehensive plan for your estate and financial affairs. A good attorney should be able to answer your questions in a clear and understandable manner and be familiar with state and federal laws regarding estates.
It’s also important to take inventory of all of your assets, including digital ones. This can include everything from family photos to online bank accounts. If you don’t take the time to make a plan for these, your heirs may not be able to access or even find them after you die. You can avoid this by naming a fiduciary to manage your digital assets and by updating your plan regularly for any changes in law or technology.