Your concise guide to estate planning

There are several entities such as trusts, powers of attorney and wills, involved in estate planning. They aid spouses and families of estate holders to benefit from the estate of the deceased. The absence of an estate plan leads the estate to go into probate and thereafter, judged by a court. Devising an estate plan requires one to go to an estate planning attorney to ensure that the welfare of the estate goes as one planned it to be.

Benefits of an estate plan
An estate plan is not only for the affluent, but also for those who want to ensure that their families have a hassle-free time after their demise. Following are some of the compelling reasons to opt for an estate plan:

  • Saves your family from all legal hassles – An efficient estate planning saves the family from getting involved in laborious legal procedures.
  • Reduces estate taxes – By gifting assets, you are able to lower the complete value of your estate because once assets are gifted, they cannot be held against the estate value. Consequently, the property taxes levied on your estate will decrease.
  • Prevents unnecessary expenses – An efficient estate plan made with the advice of a skilled attorney helps you save your family from spending money for unnecessary causes such as taxes and litigation.

What you need before going to an estate planning attorney?
At the start of the estate plan, one is required to visit an attorney to ensure all requirements are set in the right order to carry out one’s final wishes without any legal roadblocks. Before leaving for an estate planning attorney, some essential things need to be prepped up, which include the following:

  • Enlist names and addresses of all the parties associated with your assets.
  • Get all your account information, insurance information, debt list, household inventory list, retirement plans, etc. arranged at one place.
  • Gather as much information as possible that you may need to give to the estate planning attorney. The more information the attorney has, the better the estate plan will be.

Some of the common questions that you may want to ask the attorney include the following:

  • How much do they charge for their services?
  • How often should the will be updated?
  • What are the best ways to reduce the tax requirements?
  • What happens if any problem is encountered during the execution of the estate plan?
  • Where to find an estate attorney?

To look for a reliable estate attorney, these are the usual sources:

  • Ask your family members and friends for recommendations.
  • Go for financial advisors and accountants in your area.
  • Use advertisements as a means of finding an Estate Planning Attorney.
  • Check dedicated websites of good attorneys, which not only lists their contact information, but also highlights the perquisites of choosing them. In addition, the website may include testimonials from satisfied clients.
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