Another term for an estate plan should be a “legal vault”. The legal vault should be strong and sturdy to withstand any attack that may come against it. The question becomes, is your legal vault flimsy or solid to withstand what comes its way?
For some people, establishing an estate plan appears to be straightforward, simple and not requiring the guidance of an estate planning lawyer. For others that started off with this mindset, come to understand what was once simple, has turned into a complicated mess.
As with household repairs, some repairs can be fixed by the homeowner after a quick trip to the hardware store. The same is often said of estate planning - a trip to the office supply store with fill in the blank documents can be a quick cheap fix. However, here are just a few reasons why a trip to see an estate planning lawyer would be most helpful.
- Customizing a will – the online template fill in the blank documents don’t give much room for adding special language. Altering a will provision could possibly invalidate the entire will.
- Avoiding/minimizing death, income, and capital gains taxes.An estate planning lawyer can guide you through the various estate planning options to minimize and/or avoid the death tax that could come your family’s way upon your death. For example, a Revocable Living Trust is a common tool that is crafted to fit your individual goals and needs. Also, proper planning to minimize other tax implications of income and capital gains taxes.
- Avoiding a living and death probate. There are two types of probate that an estate planning lawyer can help you and your family members avoid – one while you are living, but unable to make your financial and healthcare decisions; and the other after you pass away and your assets need to be distributed with the least cost and delay. An estate planning lawyer can also help you with other legal tools, such as Powers of Attorney and a Living Will.
- Keeping your estate plan updated with law changes. Estate planning laws are constantly changing and an estate planning lawyer will be able to share those with you as they happen. It’s important to keep your plan up to date as your life changes, but also with the law changes that occur.
When you think of your legal vault, consider it anonymous with your legal legacy. You have worked hard to build your legacy, and we at Morris Hall, PLLC are here to make sure it withstands any storm that may come your way.
Contributed by Morris Hall Tucson, Oro Valley, Green Valley Estate Planning Attorney and Partner, Wendy W. Harn.
What the Attorneys of Morris Hall, PLLC Can Do For You:
The attorneys at Morris Hall have 100’s of years of combined experience ensuring that families’ assets are protected from probate, unnecessary taxes, creditors, ex-spouses and Medicaid spend-down. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Carefree, Tucson, Oro Valley, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead. Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.