Estate planning is a crucial part of making arrangements on how to handle your property in case of an untimely death or mental incapacitation. An estate planning lawyer must be involved in the process to cover all ground. These professionals have undergone years of mentoring, continued legal education, and have vast experience with legal matters surrounding estate planning. It is crucial to have a lawyer when putting your affairs in order no matter how much or little you own.
Role of a lawyer in estate planning
An estate planning lawyer, like , will help you in preparing estate execution. Some of the lawyer’s tasks include:
Establishing power of attorney
gives a second party authority to make financial decisions when you are no longer able to make such decisions known as ‘attorney in fact.’ The individual can also assume the role immediately. In either case, having power of attorney drawn saves you cost, delay and frustration of conservatorship process when you cannot perform. The conservatorship process requires a judge to appoint an individual who may as well be an outsider.
Health care proxy appointment
This process involves appointing an adult to make medical decisions should you not be in a position to in future. The proxy can determine which life-sustaining measures to take. Having an attorney guide you in appointing the health proxy will eliminate the complex process of guardianship when you need one in the future.
Preparing a trust
Depending on preference you may choose to put your assets in a trust and name a successor. A trust will give you peace of mind as your beneficiaries can inherit assets without going through probate. It is cheaper, more private as your assets do not have to be part of public record and you can still revoke or make changes to it whenever you want to.
Drafting the last will
A will determines the distribution of property and the deceased’s final wishes when they die. You do not want your estate ending up with the state or some of the beneficiaries left unattended. The will gives you the power to decide who gets what, in what quantity. A lawyer will guide you on that covers all your wishes and inform you of matters that may lead to a will contest. The lawyer can put into consideration state laws that you are not familiar with, retirement plans, death of a beneficiary and insurance policies.
Drafting a living will
A living will expresses your desires should you be hospitalised and there is a debate on whether extraordinary measures to extend life are an option. You can make a living will to let your loved ones know how to respond if there is no expectation of regaining consciousness.
Estate planning is inevitable, and you will have to face it sooner or later in life. Proper estate planning is an assurance that you can protect your loved ones and heirs from legal battle in court and give you relief knowing all decisions made are correct.