If you have an estate and want to ensure it goes to the right people at the right time and possibly minimize taxes on your estate, you need a good estate plan. Most people don’t want to think about their death or incapacity because it can be scary, but you and your family must prepare for this inevitability.
Estate planning ensures that your hard-earned money will go where you want it to go when you pass away instead of being distributed according to state law. It also helps ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible, and it could save your heirs from having to pay unnecessarily high taxes on what they inherit.
Although many estate planning tools are available online today, such as living trusts, wills, and power of attorney documents, nothing beats hiring a qualified estate planning attorney who has experience with these documents and understands all the nuances.
Advantages of Hiring an Estate Planning Attorney
If you are in Spokane, an experienced estate planning attorney in Spokane will be able to help you navigate the laws and set up the best possible estate plan in place. Here are the top benefits of hiring an estate planning attorney to take care of your affairs:
Avoiding probate is a big reason to hire an estate planning attorney. Probate is the legal process through which the court administers an estate after someone dies, settles disputes among beneficiaries, and pays the deceased’s debts.
Probate can be expensive and time-consuming. The costs associated with probating an estate are substantial, mainly if it includes real property or business assets. Legal fees for attorneys and other professionals involved in the process may also be significant, depending on your situation.
Probate is required to transfer property to beneficiaries. However, state law dictates how assets are divided without a will or other document designating who gets what after death; it may not align well with your wishes or intentions for passing down wealth and possessions.
Organizing Your Affairs
An attorney can help you inventory all of your assets. They will ask you to provide a list of your bank accounts and credit cards, the location of any other properties (such as real estate), and information about any retirement accounts. If you have a business, an attorney will also likely review any partnership agreements or corporate documents describing how the business is structured.
A good estate planning attorney will help sort out which items are in your name and which are jointly owned by another person or entity. For example, if you own real estate but only have a life estate, someone else may be able to claim ownership after you’re gone. It is essential to know how much value each asset has so that when determining how much money should go into probate at death, there isn’t confusion about who receives what percentage of certain assets.
Protecting Your Legacy
If you’re like most people, you want to ensure that your legacy is passed down to the right people. The key to doing this is through estate planning. It means putting legal measures in place so that your money, property, and other assets get transferred to the right people when you die.
Hiring an estate planning attorney can help you do this by creating a will or trust, which are documents that let you decide who should receive what after your death. These documents also give instructions on how they should be distributed among those individuals or entities named as beneficiaries of these agreements.
Avoiding Unnecessary Taxation
An estate planning attorney can help you avoid unnecessary taxation. For example, many tax shelters can help you reduce your tax burden. Estate planning attorneys have experience utilizing these shelters and will ensure that you receive the maximum benefit possible in regards to saving on taxes.
An estate planning attorney may also identify assets and income streams that are not currently being taxed or taken advantage of, so they can be utilized without incurring any additional tax liability. Additionally, an estate planning lawyer can advise clients on how best to plan for their future financial needs by establishing trusts or other legal vehicles, allowing flexibility when it comes time for them to use their money as needed.
Planning for Incapacity
A plan for incapacity is essential because it allows you to make decisions about your medical care, finances, and estate when you cannot do so. People commonly put a plan in place by creating a living will and health care power of attorney. If you have minor children, another important document is a parenting plan.
Incapacity planning helps ensure that your wishes are followed if you become incapacitated or die. In addition, it gives peace of mind to your loved ones, knowing that their lives are secure despite any circumstances surrounding your death or illness. While there’s no way to predict what might happen tomorrow, the best way to prepare for it today is by getting advice from an experienced attorney who can outline all possible scenarios and determine how best to protect yourself and your loved ones from potential pitfalls.
Creating a Plan for Your Minor Children
If you are a parent, naming someone to be the guardian of your minor children if something should happen to you is an important consideration. If you die, a guardian will be responsible for taking care of your children until they reach legal adulthood, at which point they can make their own decisions about managing their affairs. The person who becomes their guardian will also have control over their finances until they turn 18 or 21, depending on the state where they live.
If another family member cannot care for your children for health reasons or other reasons, then you may want to appoint a trustee over your child’s assets. It allows everything left behind after expenses are paid out (such as funeral costs) to remain untouched by anyone else but those named in the trust agreement until it expires when they reach maturity age limits set within each state law system.
Handling Guardianships and Conservatorships
Guardianships and conservatorships are court orders granted to a person to make crucial decisions on behalf of another person. Guardianship refers to the appointment of someone as the guardian of an adult. In contrast, conservatorship refers to the appointment of someone as the conservator for an adult with diminished mental capacity.
The courts generally grant guardianships and conservatorships if there is no other suitable person available to make certain decisions for a vulnerable adult. For example, if your father has dementia but still owns his own home, he may be deemed incompetent because he cannot properly care for himself or manage his finances anymore. In this case, a court might appoint you (or another family member) as his legal guardian so that you can ensure that he does not lose control over his home or possessions due to poor judgment on his part.
Hiring a professional estate planning attorney can benefit those looking to prepare their estate. It’s important to note that many benefits can come from hiring an attorney, including ensuring that your assets are protected, providing you with peace of mind, keeping your financial interests in mind when making decisions about your future, and more.