Estate planning lawyers are licensed legal professionals who specialize in the field of Estate planning. They have a clear and thorough understanding of federal and individual laws of states related to estate and estate planning. An Estate planning lawyer can help you to plan everything related to your estate. Including how an estate is valued, taxed and distributed after your death. Then what are the essential documents that you require before hiring an estate planning lawyer?
They are also known as probate lawyers as they can help you in understanding the probate process. Also, assist your family and loved ones during a probate process.
You should always consult an Estate planning lawyer if you want to plan an estate in the most beneficial, effective, and protective way possible.
Essential Documents required by a person before hiring an Estate planning lawyer
Last will and testament will prepared before hiring an estate planning lawyer
Wills are the legal documents that provide instructions on how to distribute the assets and estate of a person after his/her death. Will also include the information about the executor who’ll manage the assets till distribution and makes sure that everything is distributed and mentioned in the will.
In a will you name the Guardian to your pets or minor children who will be responsible for taking care of your children or pets after Your death?
A will helps you in making sure that people you care about are taken care of and do not face problems after you’re gone.
Revocable living trust
A revocable living trust is a legal document that lets you distribute your assets after your demise or in case of incapacitation. This trust acts as a legal entity that owns the property or assets you put into it while allowing you to have control over property and assets which can be used by you while you’re alive. A revocable living trust is harder to maintain than a will but allows your assets to avoid the process of probate after you die. This allows the distribution of your assets easily and privately.
To implement a revocable living trust you need to first create, sign and notarize your trust document. You’ll have to name a successor trustee who’ll manage the trust and all its assets after you die. After all this, you should transfer your property to the trust.
The certain assets that can skip the probate process and can be directly transferred to a beneficiary are called non-probate assets. These include 401(K) accounts, pensions and life insurance policies. For these assets, you have to contact each institution where you have a non-probate asset and name a beneficiary for it. These items will not listed in your will as beneficiary designations override your will.
Power of Attorney (PoA) an essential document before hiring an estate planning lawyer
Power of Attorney refers to a person or an agent that you can assign to act on your behalf of you. This gives the person the legal authority to manage your finances, property, to transact real estate or any other financial transaction on your behalf. This type of PoA is revocable till the person who chooses the PoA is mentally and physically capable of doing so.
Another kind of power of attorney includes the healthcare power of attorney which can make medical decisions on your behalf.
Insurance policies and Financial information
While planning your estate you should keep information regarding your insurance policies and other financial documents. Such as bank accounts, debts, loans, taxes, and your investments in one place. This information should include in your estate planning documents.
Guardianship designations before hiring an estate planning lawyer
If you have minor children or have pets that may require someone to care for them, a guardian is imperative. So you should accordingly choose a guardian with all designations possible.
- Proof of identity documents
- You should prepare a list and get your various identity documents in one place.
- This helps your executor to handle your assets easily. These documents include your Social security card, birth, marriage or divorce certificates
Property and titles deeds
You need to make sure that you have all title and deed documents of all your properties. If you have created a trust then that trust should be listed in your deeds and titles of the property.
Letter of intent
A letter of intent is left to a certain beneficiary or executor. This letter of intent may simply include your wish regarding a particular asset. May even include a wish you want to fulfil after your death.
If a person has pre-existing pre-nuptial agreements or has some existing contract then they can include them in estate planning. Also if the person has some digital accounts or digital assets then passwords to a digital executor can name.
These documents help you to gather all information about your estate. With the inventory, you can determine the estate taxes as well as determine how you want to proceed with the planning. This would help in determining your goals and needs which would help in the selection of your estate planning lawyer.
These steps not only make the process of estate planning easier but also helps in finding the right lawyer. This will help you in the implementation of an effective and best possible estate plan according to your needs.
In this article, you will get to know what documents you should gather before hiring an estate planning Lawyer. Gathering these documents will make your job easier and will help you in choosing the right Lawyer who Satisfies your goals and needs.