Most people assume that unless they have a large financial fortune, estate planning is unnecessary. However, that is not the case. For people of varying financial worth, estate planning can be a way to leave the kind of legacy they wish to family, friends, and others. Even with the best of intentions, it often takes an attorney who specializes in estate planning to make one’s intentions clear and enforceable. By planning ahead, it is possible to maintain control and privacy over an estate, while also making sure your final wishes are carried out exactly as planned. If you want to have peace of mind about your estate, here are some important details regarding the planning process.
Working With An Estate Planning Attorney
While some people choose to do their own planning, it’s usually best to work with an attorney who has experience and knowledge in planning estates. While you will ultimately make all the decisions regarding your estate, your attorney can suggest various options and guide you through the complex process. This can include creating such documents as a will, durable power of attorney, health care proxy, and various types of trusts. Our estate planning attorneys can ensure you clearly communicate your final wishes and avoid any mistakes.
Carefully Planning Your Estate
No matter how large or small your estate may be, you’ll want to maximize it as much as possible. Whether you choose to leave everything to family members, a college or university, or non-profit organization, it can be a tough process deciding who gets what. However, by discussing your plans with a skilled and knowledgeable attorney, you can examine your assets and decide how you prefer they be used upon your passing. By carefully thinking about the financial implications, our attorneys can help make sure your estate pays as little as possible in taxes, court fees, and related expenses.
Estate and Inheritance Taxes
While many people assume all of their estate will go to heirs and other beneficiaries, the fact is estate and inheritance taxes can sometimes eat up a large part of a person’s estate. Not only are there federal taxes on gifts and estates, but many states also levy their own estate and inheritance taxes. Because of this, it’s vital to work with an estate planning attorney who has significant experience in these matters. It’s important to note that many people take advantage of the gift tax exemption, allowing them to transfer assets while they are still living. By doing so, beneficiaries are able to get a maximum amount of the estate.
Estate Plan Maintenance
While more people realize the importance of utilizing an attorney to help with estate planning, they often fail to think about reviewing and updating their plan on a regular basis. However, this is actually one of the most important steps in planning an estate. For most people, once their estate plan is initially completed, they should sit down with their attorney every five years or when a life event occurs, such as marriage, birth of a child, divorce, or if there has been a major change in the value of their assets, to review and update their plan if needed. By doing so, your estate can be passed on with few complications.
Contact An Attorney
To ensure you leave the legacy you wish, contact an estate planning attorney such as Brandon Erickson as soon as possible. By doing so, you’ll be able to discuss your plans in a relaxed manner, knowing you are putting your estate in the hands of a knowledgeable and experienced professional.