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Understanding What An Estate Planning Attorney Does

April 26, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 185

Estate planning is the process of managing and parceling out an estate to reduce the taxes owed and to transfer assets to beneficiaries after someone dies. The goal being that all of your financial wishes are met upon your death and are not determined by a court.

You plan your estate through legal entities like trusts, wills, powers of attorney, health care surrogacies, etc. These are critical legal tools that will help your spouse and your family after you die and avoid having your estate go into probate and be settled by a judge.

When you begin to make a plan, you will want to go through an attorney to make sure that all of the requirements are in order for your final wishes to be carried out appropriately as per the laws in your particular state. There are some things you can do to prepare to meet with your estate planning attorney.

Steps In Planning Your Estate

The first of these is to get your documents in order. You will want the names and addresses of all parties that are associated with your assets. Bank account information, pension and retirement plans, insurance information, household inventory lists, debt list, etc. are all things you will want to bring to a meeting with your estate planning attorney. You want to provide as much information as possible so they can prepare your estate plan as well as possible.

When seeking out an estate attorney, there are some things you will want to ask. You will need to know how much they charge for their services, how best to reduce your tax requirement after death, are there any apparent problems with your wishes, are arrangements in order for children, and how often should my will be updated? These are all things you will want to cover initially before beginning your plan.

Where To Find An Estate Attorney

One of the best ways to begin finding an estate attorney is through references. Ask family members and friends who they would recommend. Other people you use can be of help to such as financial advisors, accountants, attorneys you have used in the past, or contact the local bar association. Advertisements can provide information on estate planning attorneys but make sure you ask all the questions you need to before settling on someone to use.

You can also do research online and visit websites of estate attorneys in your area. Good attorneys will have a site that will explain the estate planning process and might even have testimonials from happy clients.

You will want to make sure that your estate is planned for and that your wealth, no matter how small, is distributed as you want it to be upon your death. At a minimum, people should plan for a power of attorney and have a will to ensure that you and your assets are properly planned for when the time comes to divide up your estate. An attorney that specializes in estate planning attorney is the best choice for this job.

Acquiring your own estate planning attorney can prove to be a simple venture as per the aforementioned factors and there are an ample amount of benefits that are associated with acquiring your own personal estate planning attorney. Although there is a myth that estate planning will only benefit those of an affluent nature, every individual throughout the nation will have the ability to reap the benefits of estate planning. If for no other reason than to make things go smoothly for your spouse and family.

Benefits of An Estate Plan

One of the largest benefits of having a plan are reduced estate taxes. Considering that you will be provided with the opportunity to gift assets such as stocks or gifting interests that are related to corporations, this will enable you to lower the value of your estate. Due to the fact that once these assets are gifted, they can no longer be held against the value of the estate, the property taxes will inevitably decrease.

Another benefit to acquiring an attorney for your estate needs is that it will provide individuals with the opportunity to keep their family members from having to spend a copious amount of money relating to taxes, litigation expenses, and other unnecessary expenses that may arise. With the opportunity to discuss your estate planning with a certified lawyer you will be able to ensure that all extra costs will not affect those within your family.

But the biggest benefit is the peace of mind having a complete estate plan will bring. Knowing your spouse and family are cared for and won't have to deal with sticky legal issues is by far the biggest benefit.

As previously mentioned, estate planning enables the individual to ensure that particular individuals receive certain assets that you may have. With the use of a proper will and other legal documents you will be able to specify which individuals will be the rightful heirs and which individuals will receive other assets that you wish to delegate amongst your family. With the opportunity to legally determine who receives which asset you can rest assured that all belongings will be separated equally throughout your family or in whatever fashion you desire.

Rick Hart is an online business consultant. He provides tools for estate planning lawyers in Tampa Bay Florida that help with wills, powers of attorney and estate planning.

Source: EzineArticles
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