In the event when a loved one dies, a lot of emotions surface which might lead to making rash decisions when it comes to taking care of the estate left by the deceased. A lot of people think that having a will can prevent the conflicts that might occur between family members, but this is far from the truth since there are other legal processes involved in someone’s death. To save the family from unnecessary stress and friction, an estate planning attorney is necessary.
Estate Planning Attorney’s Job Description
An estate planning attorney, also called estate law attorney, is the legal professional who deals with laws involving estates. This includes valuing the whole estate and laying out options for the best way to protect one’s assets. Estate planning attorneys are also able to give suggestions on how estate tax can be avoided or reduced.
Reasons for Hiring an Estate Planning Attorney
Aside from what was mentioned above, there are many reasons why an estate law attorney is necessary. Here are just some of the most important reasons:
- Estate plans vary from one person to another.
Each family has their own assets to take care of and there are many factors that can affect how an estate plan is crafted. There is simply no template or general plan that fits every family.
This is the first advantage of having an estate planning attorney right from the start. As early as now, they can take a look at the whole estate and determine its value. From this, they will be able to guide clients regarding the best way to disperse assets and give an idea of how much the taxes will be.
Part of an estate plan is a trust. A trust refers to the arrangement between a trustee and the beneficiaries. Essentially, the trustee is the person who holds the assets “in trust for” the beneficiaries.
- A will is not enough to protect assets.
Aside from the estate plan, estate planning attorneys can be of great help in writing a will. A will is not just a simple letter dictating who gets what or how much because something as vague as that can lead to a lot of misinterpretation and conflict.
Moreover, even when a will is existing, chances are that conflicts from family members arise when someone contests the validity and fairness of the will. To prevent this from happening, an attorney is needed to streamline everything so the beneficiaries are identified early on. At the same time, the estate can be divided to pay off certain debts and liabilities.
- Estate law is confusing and complex.
Just like other parts of the law, estate law is complex. It doesn’t matter if a family has a large estate or a small one. Each one gives different complications that might be too difficult for someone without any legal background to handle. To make things a lot easier and faster (even in terms of getting inheritance), lawyers are hired to avoid unnecessary burden on the family.
- Reduce taxes paid.
Fact: Taxes are much higher without estate planning. This is why the smartest thing to do is to plan the estate even before someone in the family experiences life-threatening situations.
One of the primary goals of estate planning is to reduce taxes paid. Estate planning attorneys understand this so they will definitely lay out options that can protect most of the estate so that the money saved on taxes can be given to family members in need. Reducing taxes paid is an option and to make all of these legal, an attorney is needed. Usually, the first thing they will do is to look at the whole estate so they can determine viable tax reduction options.
In the end, hiring an estate planning attorney is the best option for protecting any estate. However, there should be careful consideration of who to hire because there are a lot of lawyers out there that can fall short in putting the family’s best interests first.
The best way to go about this is to research on the best estate planning firms like http://probateestatelawoffice.com and then interviewing chosen candidates regarding their experience, number of clients, and legal and educational background.