What Does an Estate Planning Lawyer Do?
An estate planning lawyer helps people manage what happens to their estates after they’ve passed away. That includes financial accounts and all types of property. This type of lawyer can assist people in planning ahead, so their estate is handled the way they prefer, or the lawyer can help the remaining family members if no estate plan was put into place prior to the death. This type of lawyer can help the estate make the process not only smoother but help it avoid unnecessary delays and tax expenses.
What Services Do Estate Planning Lawyers Provide?
There are a number of services they provide, including drafting legal documents (wills and trusts), legally designating beneficiaries, setting up power of attorney for the estate’s chosen representative, ensuring that assets will be transferred to the designated heirs (including enforcing any restrictions the estate wants to be upheld), and managing retirement plans and life insurance policies.
Why Should an Estate Work With a Planning Lawyer?
One important reason is to avoid going through probate. An improperly created and managed estate could end up in probate court after the estate owner’s death. Probate court can take months, and even years, to handle settling an estate and consequently is very expensive. An estate planning lawyer can work with the estate to determine the best ways to set up a plan that will help avoid probate. They can also advise ways to reduce the tax burdens of transferring the estate.
Can’t People Just Write Their Own Will?
Estate law is complicated and varies from state to state. A simple, handwritten will could open the door to legal challenges that the estate owner never intended. Such a will might be at odds with local laws, which would then force the will into probate court. An experienced estate planning lawyer can help the estate understand the laws and how to create legal documents that are aligned with them, potentially avoiding having the estate process move into probate.
Do Estate Planning Lawyers Only Work on Property and Assets?
While that is largely the role of the estate planning lawyer, they can also provide advice on selecting someone to carry out health care wishes. They can have insight into how to select the right person to oversee health care directives, which can become emotionally wrought if delegated improperly.
Let Us Advise You
If you need assistance setting up or managing an estate plan of any kind, our legal team is here to help. Call us at 317-663-9190 to learn more about how our estate planning lawyers can assist you.