7 Big Reasons You Should Hire an Estate Planning Lawyer
December 15, 2022
When you have worked hard to build assets and wealth, you will want to make sure you know what will become of everything you’ve worked for when you pass away. You will need a solid estate plan to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes following your death. Working with an estate planning attorney is critical to having an estate plan that meets your needs and goals. Here are seven important reasons for hiring an estate planning attorney.
Lawyers Can Help Avoid Probate
Probate is the court process by which a deceased person’s estate is transferred to the decedent’s heirs and beneficiaries. Depending on the complexity of a decedent’s assets, this can be a complex, time-consuming, and expensive process. Moreover, your financial life will become a matter of public record through the courts. However, there are estate planning tools that can help your family largely or entirely avoid probate, so that your wealth passes onto your loved ones much more quickly following your death.
Lawyers Have Experience Protecting Clients’ Assets
An estate plan can include multiple documents to achieve a person’s goals. Common estate planning documents include:
- Power of attorney
- Medical directives/living wills
- Beneficiary directives
- Joint tenancies
- Transfer-on-death/pay-on-death designations
- Guardianship nominations
An estate planning attorney will know which documents you need to achieve your goals and can make sure that the documents have the specific verbiage to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
A Lawyer Can Help You Avoid Mistakes
While there are tools out there intended to help people prepare estate plans on their own, a non-lawyer can still make critical errors in their estate plan while using these tools. An estate planning attorney can help you avoid making common mistakes such as:
- Making invalid designations in your estate planning documents
- Not executing all documents
- Leaving out certain assets or individuals
- Not changing the estate plan in response to life developments or new laws
Lawyers Can Assist If You Have a Family Member with Special Needs
Hiring an estate planning attorney is especially important if you have a special needs family member that you want to ensure is taken care of after you are gone. There are certain types of trusts that will protect a special needs family member’s eligibility for government services while also allowing you to pass on your inheritance.
Lawyers Can Minimize Tax Liabilities
Depending on the size of your estate, your estate and your heirs and beneficiaries may be liable to pay state and/or federal taxes. If your family may have tax liabilities following your passing, a knowledgeable estate planning attorney can help you set up your estate plan to minimize those liabilities.
Your Lawyer Can Help Keep Your Documents Up to Date
Once you’ve set up an estate plan, you will still need to review your documents every couple of years and after major life events such as marriage, divorce, the birth of children or grandchildren, or coming into significant money. Your attorney can help you make sure your estate planning reflects your current wishes, as well as keep your plan up to date in response to changes in the law.
A Lawyer Can Provide a Neutral Perspective
Estate planning can be extremely emotional, especially if you feel like certain family members will be unhappy with your wishes. An estate planning lawyer can help provide a neutral, dispassionate sounding board as you navigate the complexities of leaving your assets to your loved ones.
Contact a Fort Lee Estate Planning Attorney for a Consultation in New Jersey
You deserve to have peace of mind about whether your loved ones will be taken care of after you are gone. The best way to plan for your future, and the future of your close family members or other loved ones, is to speak with an estate planning lawyer about your specific circumstances and financial situation. The experienced New Jersey estate planning attorneys at Choi Law Firm assist clients with wills, trusts, and other estate planning documents. We represent clients in Bergen County, Hudson County, Queens County, NY, Long Island, and throughout New Jersey and New York. Call us anytime at 201-482-4825 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a confidential consultation. Our main office is located at 1372 Palisade Avenue, 2nd Floor, Fort Lee, NJ 07024, and we also have offices located in Bayside, NY.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.
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