How do you protect your family after you’re gone? Well, you do that by consulting with an Estate Planning lawyer. They will help you with the estate planning and then through the probate process. This will ensure that you have a valid plan in place in accordance with your state laws. These attorneys are licensed and experienced law professionals that have thorough knowledge of both state and federal laws.
The primary responsibility of an estate planning associate is to meet with the clients in order to recognize their wishes, draft the documents (i.e Powers of attorney, wills, health care directives and trusts) along with explaining the approach of CDP to fees and engagements and providing advice on estate, income tax matters and gifts, etc.
An estate planning attorney can assist you with the following documents:
Contact with client – The attorney starts with communicating with the clients through phone calls, emails and mails along with in person contact. This forms an engagement between both of them to get the matter moving forward on a timely manner. Moreover, it will make sure that the efforts put by the support staff of the firm is parallel with the needs of the clients.
Draft the documents:Either he/she will prepare the initial draft of the documents in case the matter is a complex one or will provide the support staff with drafting instructions. These documents are usually mailed to the client within a few days of the engagement or as decided. The documents that are drafted are as follows:
Last Will and Testament – This allows you to transfer your assets to specific entities or/and individuals. In addition to this, you can name guardians for your minor children and further prevent your children and property to be distributed under the default intestacy statutes of your state.
With this being said, this Will doesn’t prevent you from any delay, publicity and expenses of probate proceeding. Moreover, the Will can’t override the designation of a beneficiary on a joint form of ownership, retirement plan or a life insurance policy. This makes it necessary for the estate planner to be aware of plans, accounts and policies so that you can make a smart decision.
Living Will – A living Will basically expresses the desire of an individual to use extraordinary measures in order to extend his/her life. This is done when there are no reasonable expectations of the person regaining consciousness.
Power of Attorney – It is a legal document that gives authority to manage your financial affairs to another person. Power of attorney is of two types. The first one is “attorney in fact” that gives power to another person immediately. In the second one (i.e a springing power of attorney), you give power to another person called “attorney in fact” at the time you suffer mental or physical incapacity. By getting it drafted from an attorney, you can avoid the costly conservatorship process, delays and frustration.
Health Care Proxy – It allows one adult to appoint another person to make medical decisions, in case they can’t make them themselves in the future. Also, this power gives the ability to decide about life sustaining measures.
Estate planning attorneys charge a specific fee to create such legal documents. But you can also hire them on an hourly basis by paying a premium to maintain your estate and ensure that your Will is being carried out as per your plan, whenever the need arises.