After your death, your assets will need new owners. The car you own will need a new owner. The houses you own will need a new owner. The investments and all other assets you own will need new owners. Estate planning is the best way to ensure that these assets get to the right individuals.
With an estate plan, or specifically, a will, you can designate individuals who will inherit each of your assets. If you want your youngest son to inherit your house, you can do that by creating an estate plan (which usually comes with a will). An estate plan comes with several important estate planning documents.
These documents include a power of attorney, a will, healthcare power of attorney, letter of intent, beneficiary designation, etc. and they are mostly prepared by an estate planning attorney. Let us take a look at who an estate planning attorney is.
Who is an estate planning attorney??
Also regarded as an estate law attorney or probate attorney, estate planning attorneys are experienced and licensed experts with vast understanding of the state and federal laws that affect how your estate will be valued, inventoried, shared, managed, and taxed after your demise. An estate planning attorney can provide you with valuable advice regarding the probate process and help you with the following tasks:
- Drafting a will
- Selecting your beneficiaries
- Creating a durable power of attorney including a healthcare power of attorney
- Brainstorming on ways to lessen and prevent estate tax when possible
- Finding ways to prevent the probate court process
- Creating a trust to secure your assets, both for your benefit during your lifetime should you get incapacitated, and for the benefit of your beneficiaries after your death.
Of course, estate planning attorneys don’t work for free. Thus, you will have to pay them for the service rendered. As an estate owner, it is important you have an insight into how these professionals charge before you go ahead to hire one.
Some estate planning attorneys may create a simple will or power of attorney for as little as $150 or $200. On average, experienced estate planning attorney may charge $250 or $350 per hour to prepare more complex estate plans. You could spend a huge chunk of money to work with such an estate planning lawyer.
What can an estate planning attorney help you with?
Estate planning lawyers often charge a flat fee to help you create binding legal documents like wills and durable power of attorney. However, they can also be hired on an hourly basis to help you maintain your estate, act in your stead to take care of disputes when called upon, and make sure that you will is executed accordingly.
An estate planning lawyer can also be invited to guide an individual with power of attorney over a recently deceased person’s estate via the process of probate court. In fact, a competent estate planning attorney may be able to assist you prevent the time-consuming, expensive, and stressful probate process. However, that depends on the type of assets in the deceased’s estate and how they are legally allowed to be transferred to the designated beneficiaries.
Estate Planning lawyer can help fight lawsuits
If a beneficiary (or even an outsider) declares that he or she plans to contest the will and sue the estate of a deceased family member or loved one that you also stand to benefit from. In that case, it is important that you consult an estate planning attorney promptly. Such lawsuits can wreak havoc on the estate’s funds and leave all beneficiaries frustrated.
You may be shocked to discover that more than 99% of estate will not owe any federal estate tax, based on a 2018 report by the Tax Policy Center. Only estates with combined total assets and prior taxable gifts valued at $11,400,000 or more must file, as of 2019. Worthy to note is that smaller estates that are exempt from federal estate tax may not be exempt from estate taxes in some states.
Do you reside in Long Island and need the help of an estate planning lawyer to plan your estate or create those important estate planning documents? Don’t hesitate to contact an estate planning lawyer. Long Island.