You have heard of estate planning lawyers.You have probably even had friends and/or family tell you that you need a good estate planning lawyer; however, you are not entirely sure what estate planning lawyers actually do. Because it is important that you develop a long-term relationship with an experienced estate planning lawyer, you need to know what types of legal issues and problems estate planning lawyers handle. To help you become familiar with what an estate planning lawyer can help you with, the following overview covers some of the most common of those issues and problems.
The most obvious issue an estate planning attorney can help with is creating a comprehensive estate plan. Contrary to what many people believe, you do not need to reach a specific point in your life and/or amass a small fortune before estate planning becomes necessary. Every adult needs at least a basic estate plan. Without an estate plan in place, the State of Arizona will decide what happens to the assets you have in the event of your death. In addition, a judge might be forced to appoint a guardian for your minor children without any input from you. As your family and your estate grow, you will need to review and revise your estate plan to include additional, inter-related goals and objectives which make it important to develop a long-lasting relationship with your estate planning lawyer.
When most people think of the need for estate planning, they think in terms of planning for the possibility of death. However, your death is not the only thing you need to consider when it comes to protecting you, your assets, and your loved ones. You should also plan for the possibility of incapacity. An estate planning attorney can help you do this by including incapacity planning components in your overall estate plan. By creating an incapacity plan, you ensure that you will be the one to decide who takes over control of your assets and who makes decisions for you if incapacity does strike.
Just as estate planning attorneys can help you create an estate plan that removes the need to probate your estate, saving a great amount of time, money and exposure to your beneficiaries. An estate planning attorney can also represent you if you find yourself appointed as the Executor of someone else’s estate. As the Executor, you will have a wide variety of important duties and responsibilities. Most Executors retain the services of an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure that they do not make costly mistakes during the probate of the estate.
Trusts and Trust Administration
While a Last Will and Testament remains the most common estate planning document, trusts are not far behind in terms of popularity. If your estate is over $75,000, you will probably find that you wish to create a trust as the focal document in your estate plan to help you achieve a wide range of estate planning goals, including probate avoidance, incapacity planning, and protecting your beneficiaries’ inheritance. An estate planning attorney can help you choose the right type of trust for your needs and help you create the trust agreement. Likewise, if you find that you have been appointed as the Trustee of a trust created by someone else, you may wish to retain the services of an estate planning attorney to help you administer the trust, particularly if you have never before served as a Trustee.
Elder law is a very broad term that is used to refer to legal issues that impact the elderly and those who care for them. Because there is a natural relationship between many estate planning and elder law issues, you will frequently find that an estate planning attorney can help you with elder law issues. For example, if you need to petition for guardianship of a parent or other elderly loved one, qualify for Medicaid, or create and execute advance directives, an estate planning attorney can help you.
Contact Phoenix Estate Planning Lawyers
For more information, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have additional questions or concerns about estate planning, or any of the other issues an estate planning lawyer can help you with, contact an experienced Phoenix estate planning lawyer at Morris Hall PLLC by calling 888-222-1328 to schedule an appointment.