Many people believe they can do estate planning all on their own. But estate planning goes beyond preparing a will and writing how you want your estate disbursed. Estate planning is a legal matter, and there are several things an estate planning lawyer can help you do that you can’t do on your own. Out of experience, they know the problems people commonly face, and so help you plan to avoid such problems.
But what exactly do estate planning lawyers do? Why should you hire one? This article explains some critical services of an estate planning lawyer.
If you wish to seek assistance from an estate planning lawyer near you in Buffalo, NY 14201, kindly call our law office today to get in touch with one.
Top 7 things an estate planning lawyer will help you do
1. Prepare documents for the disbursement of your estate when you die
The foremost service of an estate planning attorney is to plan for asset disposal. To do this, they must first understand your goals; where you want each property to go, and how much you want each party to receive. Your attorney will then create a will and/or trusts in which they clearly express your wishes.
2. Prepare documents for possible future incapacity
Another important consideration that estate planning lawyers bring to your awareness is incapacity. There is high rate of Alzheimer’s and dementia cases among old people. Such people need a trusted person to manage their financial, personal, and/or medical affairs. Although no one wants to become incapacitated, it is safer to plan for its eventuality so that you can have someone running your affairs and making important financial and medical decisions on your behalf when you become unable to do so yourself. To this end, your lawyer may prepare:
- A power of attorney to appoint an agent to handle your financial affairs
- A healthcare proxy to appoint an agent to handle your healthcare affairs.
3. Co-ordinate your estate plan
Your estate planning lawyer will also ensure your estate planning documents are all working in unison to offer you the most benefits. Just as wills have merits and demerits, living trusts have as well. But an experienced estate lawyer can combine both, using each instrument to handle different assets, in order to use one to complement the other. If you have a living trust and you name a successor trustee, then it may not be necessary to create a power of attorney. With your best interest at heart, your lawyer will determine what’s best for you and apply it.
4. Carry out tax planning
There are tax laws in New York, and your inheritors may be required to pay a certain amount before they can inherit your estate. If your estate values below $5,850,000, this shouldn’t affect you. But if it exceeds, then it is crucial you carry out tax planning to prevent a huge chunk of your hard-earned cash to go to the government.
New York estate planning lawyers are proficient in tax planning, and can help keep your estate value below this threshold through annual gifting, execution of irrevocable trust, or holding property by joint tenancy.
5. Update your estate plan when necessary
While you may think estate planning is a once-and-for-all affair, it is not so. Your documents require updates from time to time to keep up with the ever-changing laws and your estate situation. A named beneficiary or fiduciary may pass away, and you may get divorced, acquire or lose property. Each of these scenarios will require a relative change in the respective document.
6. Review your estate plan to see if it complies with state laws
If you have already prepared your documents, then you can hire a lawyer to help review them to see if they are as should be. This act prevents your document from invalidity, wherein your wishes will be discarded. This kind of legal service will cost less than having the lawyer create each of the documents from scratch.
7. Help you avoid probate
New York probate is complex, expensive, and lengthy, and must conclude before your beneficiaries can inherit. What if that child of yours needs the cash so badly but probate is taking a long time? And what if family conflicts arise during probate as is often the case? To avoid all these, it is best to execute a living trust rather than drafting a will alone. Assets held in a trust pass directly to your beneficiary outside probate, but this document is more complex than a will and requires expert legal hands to execute. Living trusts also offer tax savings to an extent. To get these benefits, why not contact us today?
Estate planning lawyers near me 14201
Do you live in Buffalo, New York? Are you searching for an estate planning lawyer within 14201? Look no further. Our estate planning lawyers are here for you. Do give us a call to get a free first consultation.