You have a right to dictate what happens to your possessions in case you pass away. For you to exercise this right, you will need to conduct estate planning. Given that there are laws on decedents' property distribution, it is crucial to have legal representation. This post highlights the primary reasons for hiring a will and estate planning lawyer.
To Understand Estate Laws
Do you understand estate planning laws? A will and estate planning lawyer saves you the trouble of having to sift through the ever-changing estate planning laws. Without a proper understanding of estate planning laws, your property may end up in the wrong hands. For instance, when a person dies without a will, the estate becomes a subject of intestate succession. According to intestate succession laws, any of your relatives may inherit a certain percentage of your property. Thus, having an estate planning lawyer means you can get support to develop a will specifying your desired heirs and beneficiaries. The attorney can also advise you on the process of estate administration for property owned in multiple states.
To Protect Yourself and Your Family
An estate planning attorney protects your interests and your family by preparing and updating relevant legal documents. For starters, the attorney supports you to develop a will directing the distribution of your property. Then, with a power of attorney, you can dictate the signatories to your estate in case of incapacitation. You can also issue medical directives such as termination of life should you suffer a severe illness. Also, the lawyer can help you set up a trust for minor children to ensure they receive assets and payments on specified terms. Notably, a will and estate planning lawyer can help you with guardianship nomination. As such, the court would have a document reflecting your expressed wishes on who takes care of your children after you die.
To Reduce Tax Liabilities
The laws surrounding estate tax can be complex. Typically, several factors determine whether an estate is liable for federal estate taxes. These factors include the gross estate value, debt at the time of death, expenses incurred to settle the estate, and other deductions. For instance, if your tax exemption exceeds the net value of your estate, then you would have no tax obligations. The estate planning lawyer can advise you on strategies to reduce the tax liability, such as making charitable donations or transfers to your spouse through a trust.
Estate planning is an emotional, technical, and time-consuming exercise. Engage a will and estate planning lawyer with the skills and experience to ease the process. The attorney will use their knowledge to advocate for and protect your interests while reducing mistakes.