4 Reasons To Work with An Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer
There are critical issues that everyday people can manage for themselves. Crafting a comprehensive estate plan and managing it when significant life changes occur is usually not one of them.
It’s not uncommon for savvy professionals to believe that simple mandates such as “I want everything to go to my children,” won’t require an experienced estate planning lawyer to map out. It’s true you could scratch out a DIY Last Will and Testament by downloading a template and believe your wishes will be fulfilled. But the chances of that document enjoying the full force of law are slim, at best. If you want to see your loved ones taken care of properly after you’re gone, these are four more reasons why it’s imperative to work with a skilled estate planning lawyer.
1: An Estate Plan Involves More than Just Drafting a Will
While a Last Will remains a foundational legal document, estate planning goes much further in terms of detail and meeting emerging challenges. These are key issues a diligently crafted estate plan can resolve that a standalone Will might not.
- Advanced Medical Directive: Commonly called a “living will,” this document details the healthcare options you wish to utilize or exclude in your final days. It’s not uncommon for people to lack the ability to communicate near life’s end. An advanced medical directive speaks for you.
- Living Trusts: One of the popular ways people manage their assets is by establishing trusts. An estate planning lawyer can provide you with critical information about using living trusts and other asset-management vehicles to maximize the benefit your heirs receive.
- Beneficiaries & Signatures: It’s essential to not only outline how you want your wealth disbursed in court-certified documents. Things such as life insurance policies, a 401(k), and many others may require your updated signature. When making changes to your estate plan, having an estate planning law firm keep these documents current can make a significant difference in your wishes being carried out or not.
It may come as something of a surprise to non-lawyers, but laws regarding probate and other estate issues vary from state to state. Methods of maximizing benefits can change on a regular basis. Your estate plan should evolve over time as well.
2: An Estate Planning Lawyer Avoids Unnecessary Fees & Taxes
You worked hard to accumulate wealth, assets, and now want the success of your labor to benefit loved ones. Naturally, the government would like to take a bite out of those resources if possible.
Many Americans see probate costs and so-called “death taxes” as fundamentally unfair. After all, you played by the rules and paid your fair share already. If you want the full benefit of your wealth to improve the lives of loved ones, an estate planning lawyer understands the best legal vehicles to avoid paying out unnecessarily. Mechanisms such as gifts, joint property ownership, and trusts can sidestep probate fees and avoid paying onerous taxes.
3: An Experienced Lawyer Knows When to Update Your Estate Plan
Regardless of how well-crafted an estate plan may be, evolving wealth, family circumstances, and changing laws can render even the best end-of-life strategy outdated. There is little doubt that your wealth will accumulate and change over time. Children will grow into adults and divorce is a sometimes unfortunate change. All of these and other changes may require prompt alterations to your estate plan.
Couple that with the fact the state and federal bodies tweak and change the laws on a routine basis and only a legal expert knows when, why and how to update an estate plan. By working with an experienced legal professional, you can expect timely consultations regarding updates to the law and strategic planning meetings when your financial and personal life changes.
4: Personalized Estate Planning Matters
An estate planning law firm understands that every community member has unique goals and financial portfolios. The idea estate planning fits into one-size-fits-all legal templates is both short-sighted and cannot actualize the nuanced giving you want for your loved ones.
Working with a diligent estate planning lawyer means sitting down and discussing where you are today and how you want loved ones cared for after you are gone. Once your goals are outlined, they can be matched to your financial portfolio and informed decisions can be made regarding maximizing benefits and the vehicles to achieve success. It’s important to remember that long-term estate planning is a highly personal act of kindness.
Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer in Surfside Beach, SC
If you are considering creating an estate plan or have an existing one that needs updating, it’s crucial to work with an estate planning lawyer who focuses on this niche area of the law every day. At Indigo Family Law, we provide determined estate planning services to our valued community members. Call our Surfside Beach, SC, offices and Schedule a Consultation today!