Having an up-to-date Estate Plan is one of the best ways to protect your family from financial disaster. It can also help prevent people from taking advantage of vulnerable relatives or loved ones.
An Estate Planning attorney is well-versed in state and federal law related to estates and trusts. They can help minimize taxes for your heirs and beneficiaries.
What We Do
Estate planning can be a useful way for individuals to determine what happens to their assets and liabilities before and after death. It can also help to lay out plans for minor children and pets, and to set out wishes regarding funerals and charities.
Many online Barrhead Wills & Estate Planning services offer a do-it-yourself service that allows people to create their own documents at a lower cost than an attorney would charge. They use state-specific forms that have been designed by experts to ensure accuracy. Some services also provide the option for an attorney to review the documents at any time during the creation process.
It is important to update your estate plan regularly as changes in family circumstances, financial status and life events occur. For example, if you have minor children, you may wish to change the guardian named in your original estate plan. Or, you may want to consider transferring ownership of your life insurance policy into a trust.
Preparing a Will
We help clients prepare important estate planning documents like a will, trust agreements and advance health care directives. We also help clients establish and administer an effective estate plan. We assist in evaluating the client’s assets and discovering ways to mitigate inheritance tax costs, so family members receive the maximum value of their estate.
In addition, we can assist in drafting a variety of other important documents such as transfer on death deeds for financial assets, beneficiary designations for life insurance policies and retirement accounts, buy-sell agreements for businesses and other legal documents. We also review these lists periodically to reflect changes in circumstances and assets.
A poorly drafted will can cost the estate a great deal of time and money, delay the distribution of assets to beneficiaries and subject the estate to the expense of probate. While will kits promise to offer a cheaper alternative, they often do not include the language necessary for the creation and carryout of trusts in an estate.
Creating a Living Trust
A trust is an estate planning tool that allows you to avoid probate and keep your private finances and assets private. A trustee i will manage the assets in the trust and distribute them at your death or when you become incapacitated.
A revocable living trust is the most common kind of trust used for estate planning purposes. You can make changes to the trust at any time during your lifetime and you can even take assets out of it if you want.
An attorney who specializes in estate planning can help you decide whether a trust is right for your needs. They can assist you in preparing a detailed estate plan that meets your individual goals for avoiding probate and reducing taxes. This includes preparing a will, a power of attorney, and an advance health care directive. They can also help you set up charitable donations to reduce your estate taxes. They can also advise you on funeral arrangements.
Creating a Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is a legal document allowing you to choose someone to act on your behalf if you are ever incapacitated. This person is known as your agent. You can create a general or durable power of attorney. Both must be signed in front of a notary or two disinterested witnesses to be valid.
It is important to speak with a Barrhead estate planning lawyer regarding your powers of attorney and advance health care directive. Attempting to do these things on your own could lead to complications that you and your family may not want or can avoid. A qualified lawyer will understand the emotional complexity of these decisions and be familiar with state laws. Do-it-yourself kits are available, but they do not necessarily address all the relevant laws. A lawyer can provide you with a complete package that addresses your wishes and meets all the legal requirements. They will also assist you in avoiding the costly mistakes that can occur with online templates.