What does an Estate Planning Attorney do?
An estate planning attorney is a professional who can help you design and implement an individualized plan to manage your assets. Your estate plan will include documents such as wills, trusts, powers of attorney, health care directives and asset protection plans. The wills attorney will be responsible for making sure that all legal documents are properly drafted and executed in accordance with the law. They also provide guidance on how to best allocate your assets so that you can achieve your goals. Additionally, the attorney may advise you about methods for reducing potential taxes or other liabilities associated with transferring assets upon death.
What should I look for when choosing an Estate Planning Attorney?
When selecting an estate planning attorney or a special needs trust service, it is important to find someone who specializes in the area of law and has experience with estate planning and trust drafting. Ask for referrals from family, friends and professional advisors you trust. Make sure they have the necessary qualifications and certifications, such as a license to practice law in your state or any other state if applicable. It is also helpful to inquire about their educational background and whether they have attended any seminars or courses related to estate planning. Finally, consider their fee structure, including hourly rates and flat fees for specific services. For your peace of mind, it is important to find an estate planning attorney who is honest and has your best interests in mind.
What if I need help understanding my Estate Planning Documents?
Your estate planning attorney will be able to explain the contents of any documents they have prepared on your behalf and provide clarification on any issues or questions you may have. In addition, an informed lawyer can alert you to potential risks associated with certain provisions and suggest amendments that could reduce those risks. It’s important that you feel comfortable with all aspects of the documents so that you are confident about making decisions based upon them. If necessary, the attorney should also be able to provide guidance on any changes that need to be made. For example, if you move to another state, your estate plan must be updated to reflect that change.
When should I review my Estate Planning Documents?
Your estate plan should be reviewed periodically, particularly when there are significant changes in your life such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, or the death of a family member. It’s important to keep your documents up-to-date so that they accurately reflect your wishes and financial situation at all times. Your attorney can help you make sure that any necessary updates are included in the plan and advise you about additional steps you may need to take for maximum protection of your assets.
Now that you understand the role of an estate planning attorney and what to look for when selecting one, you can begin the process of finding the right professional to help you create a comprehensive plan that meets your goals. With proper planning, you can ensure that your wishes are carried out and your assets are protected in accordance with the law.