Estate planning attorneys are licensed legal professionals specializing in the field of Estate planning. They have a clear and thorough understanding of federal and individual laws of states related to the estate. An Estate planning attorney can help you to plan everything related to your estate. This includes how an estate has been valued, taxed, and distributed after death. So, what should you look for while choosing an estate planning attorney besides a will? Let’s understand it.
They are also known as probate lawyers, as they can help you understand the probate process. Probate Lawyers will also assist your family and loved ones during the probate process. You should always consult an Estate planning attorney if you want to plan an estate in the most beneficial, effective, and protective way possible.
Documents you look at while choosing an Estate planning attorney
Revocable living trust while selecting an estate planning attorney
A revocable living trust is a legal document that lets you distribute your assets after your demise. This acts as a legal entity that owns the property or assets as you put into it while allowing you to control and use that property while you’re alive. A revocable living trust is more challenging to maintain than a will. But it allows your assets to avoid probate after you die. This enables the distribution of your investments quickly and privately.
To implement a revocable living trust, you must first create, sign and notarize your trust document. Then, you’ll have to name a successor trustee who’ll manage the trust after you die. After all this, you should transfer your property to the trust.
Beneficiary designations for estate planning attorney
Certain assets that can skip the probate process and 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 must contact each institution where you have a non-probate asset and name a beneficiary. These items should not be listed as beneficiary designations override your will.
Power of Attorney (PoA)
Power of Attorney refers to a person or agent you can assign to act on your behalf. This gives the person the legal authority to manage your finances and property, 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 may include the health care 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 investments, in one place. This information should be included in your estate planning documents.
If you have minor children or have pets that may require someone to care for them, then picking a guardian is essential. So it would be best if you chose a guardian with all possible designations.
Property and titles deeds
You must ensure that you have all title and deed documents of all your properties. For example, if you have created a trust, then the entitled trust will provide deeds and titles of the property.
Letter of intent
A letter of intent is a letter that is left to a specific beneficiary or executor. This letter of intent may include your wish regarding a particular asset or even a desire you want to fulfill after your death.
If a person has pre-existing pre-nuptial agreements or has some existing contract, they can include those during the estate planning. Also, if the person has some digital accounts or digital assets, then passwords to a digital vault or 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 and how you want to proceed with the planning. This would help determine your goals and needs, which would help in selecting your estate planning attorney.
These steps not only make the process of estate planning more accessible but also helps in finding the right attorney. That will help you implement an effective and best estate plan according to your needs.
Here you will get to know what documents you should gather before choosing an Estate planning attorney for your estate. These documents will help you choose the right attorney and help you draft an effective estate plan while keeping your goals and needs in mind.