Estate planning is not a task that should be taken lightly. In fact, individuals need to hire an estate planning attorney to ensure the entire process goes smoothly and no steps are overlooked. The intent of a document, such as a trust or will, can be significantly altered simply by entering one wrong word or failing to sign in the correct area. What are some of the many reasons a professional of this type is needed during the estate planning process?
Each state has established laws regarding the planning of an estate and what may and may not be included in a financial power of attorney, a trust, a will, or a medical power of attorney. Furthermore, there are laws dictating who may and may not act as a personal representative of the deceased, which individuals are permitted to serve as a trustee, and more. Imagine dictating a will only to have the heirs learn they were not allowed by law to be a witness to the document and therefore the will is null and void. This is only one example of what may go wrong during estate planning, and the attorney makes certain mistakes of this type are not made.
This Latin phrase translates to ‘buyer beware’ and is very true when it comes to estate planning. People may turn to the internet to obtain forms related to this task, thinking they will be enough to ensure the process is carried out properly. It isn’t until the passing of the loved one that heirs learn a portion or all of the document is not legally valid. The money spent researching the process, obtaining the forms, and more will be wasted as a result.
Many individuals have a complex situation when it comes to their family or their finances. For instance, a person who has been married more than once may need to plan for both their first and second spouse and any children arising from those relationships. People who own property in more than one state need guidance in dealing with their holdings and a business owner must prepare carefully to ensure the business is protected at their time of death.
Estate planning ensures any assets left by the deceased are not consumed by probate attorneys, taxes, and more. Don’t delay in taking this important step. Doing so could be very costly in more ways than one.