5 Tips for Lawyers: How to Prepare for an Estate Planning Case?

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An estate planning attorney must be conversant with estate planning law to be successful in an estate planning case. This estate law involves the laid down template for properly drafting an estate plan. 

A complete legal estate plan should include an updated last will containing an inventory of the assets to be distributed accordingly after the demise.

Due to the rigors of estate planning, you might need the services of a financial professional to help you attain an average estate planning cost. Better still, you could employ an estate planning attorney.


Estate Planning Definition

For individuals asking, “what estate planning is,” here is an answer to your dilemma. Estate planning involves handling an individual’s assets after their demise or in the scene of incapacitation.

Estate planning consists of a will, trusts, and other procedures, such as making donations to reduce taxes. To simplify this process, you could consult estate planning lawyers. These individuals are experienced in drafting an estate plan and conversant with estate planning law.

Estate Planning Law 

Estate law involves the state and federal laws surrounding an estate plan. It is also affiliated with family, real estate, and elder law. Other aspects involved in estate planning law are;

  • Probate
  • Inheritance
  • Intestate
  • Advance directive
  • Real property

Template for Estate Planning

Creating an estate plan can be quite challenging without the appropriate guide. So, here are a few things to have in mind to make the task easier:

  1. Take an Inventory of the Assets

The first step to drafting an estate plan is taking an inventory of the assets. These assets could include savings, real estate, investments, and other personal items. It would be best if you also add the debts incurred. Such arrears could consist of loans, mortgages, or credit card balances. Note you should also include your retirement benefits and insurance.

  1. Determine Your Beneficiaries

The second step in an estate plan is to determine your beneficiaries. Your beneficiaries could include loved ones like family and friends. It could also have a charitable organization or any other company you desire. After making your choice, you need to decide on the distribution of the asset. This step is to know how much of your assets your beneficiaries will get at your demise.

  1. Fill Out Estate Planning Documents

Completing the necessary documents, such as wills, trusts, and estate planning paperwork, is essential. Other vital records include healthcare, letter of intent, and guardianship designation. A guardianship designation is necessary for beneficiaries who are children.

  1. Update Your Estate Plan

An estate plan should receive frequent updates to capture the current wishes of the estate’s owner. For example, the update could include the allocation of an asset to a new family member. It could also involve rescheduling the estate to other beneficiaries in the scene when a benefactor dies.

  1. Seek Legal Financial Counsel

You could consult a financial expert to help you figure out how to reduce the cost of estate planning. But, an estate planning attorney can also assist in such financial matters. So, whatever your choice is, these individuals can help you break down the tasking procedure involved with the financial aspect of an estate plan.

Estate Planning Attorney

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An Estate planning attorney in Fayetteville is also known as a probate lawyer or estate law lawyer who can help simplify estate planning procedures. They have the experience and knowledge to help you create a plan that meets your specific needs and protects your loved ones. Thus, they ensure to capture your wishes in a digital recording or on paper. This way, there won’t be any confusion regarding the distribution of your assets after your demise.

For efficiency, estate planning attorneys know the state and federal laws. This knowledge is vital to see the impact of these laws on the asset listed. Moreover, these laws can tell you the value of the estate and the taxes involved in maintaining them.

Estate planning attorneys carry out specialized duties. Some of these duties include;

  • Drafting the last will
  • Identifying the benefactors
  • Reduces the time frame for probate procedures
  • Reduces the litigation cost in trial
  • Protects the family legacy
  • Updates the estate plan
  • Assists in enforcing the wishes of the deceased

Estate Planning Checklists

A complete checklist requires a few estate planning documents for the procedure to be valid. It also requires the presence of specific individuals to wrap up the process after the demise of the estate’s owner. This checklist for estate planning should include the following;

  • An estate planning will
  • Letter of intent
  • Durable Power of attorney
  • Guardianship Designations
  • Beneficiary designations
  • Healthcare power of attorney
  • Trusts

Types of Estate Planning Trusts

A trust involves a grantor who creates the pool of assets. It also involves a third party called a trustee. Nonetheless, the presence of these individuals can create several estate planning trust types, which are;

  • By-pass trust
  • Blind trust
  • Spendthrift trust
  • Charitable trusts
  • Generation-skipping trust
  • Special needs trust
  • Pet trusts

Average Estate Planning Cost

It is best to seek counsel from a financial expert about estate planning law. These experts might demand a contingency fee or a flat fee. Sometimes, they might charge at an hourly rate. Better still, an estate planning attorney can guide you through the financial ropes of an estate plan to cut costs. 

Nonetheless, the cost of estate planning services depends on the nature of the service. Plus, the size and complex nature of the estate is also a determinant of the average estate planning cost.

Estate Planning Tips 

Below are some essential estate planning tips that can lighten up the process:

  • Keep documents in a safe location. For example, a secure place could be a safety deposit box, a fireproof safe, or a locked filing cabinet.
  • There should be an update to estate planning documents. This way, the will maker’s current wishes will reflect in these documents.
  • You should make duplicate copies of these estate planning documents. These copies will ensure that your children, spouse, and trusted individuals have a total picture of how to handle your assets at your demise.
  • Seek legal advice from an estate planning attorney. This counsel will ensure that your estate plans are in sync with the estate planning law.
  • Draft a thorough estate plan to avoid probate procedures when distributing the assets.

Final Thoughts

Estate planning is a daunting task that can be easy with the help of an estate planning attorney. Thus, these legal counselors are vital to documenting your last wishes about your assets. For these litigators to have a strong case in court, they should represent clients whose deceased followed the laid down template of estate planning.