An estate planning attorney helps and guides you in choosing the correct options for maintaining your estate after death or in case of incapacity. An experienced attorney seeks to fully understand your desires and goals regarding the maintenance of your estate and other property and suggests ways to achieve those wishes.
Goals differ from person to person. While some people may wish to involve their children and family members in the maintenance of their estate, others may not. You may want to distribute your wealth and property in a specific way but are unaware of the best way to do so. A qualified estate planning attorney can not only describe the various options available but also see that your wishes are carried out according to law. Your estate plan must meet state guidelines in order to avoid hassles and expense down the road.
Here are some of the ways an estate planning attorney can help:
• Prepare a legally complete Property Power of Attorney
• Plan to reduce or eliminate estate tax
• Prepare a Will, and help manage the probate process with or without a Will
• Establish a Living Trust to avoid probate and allow for management of assets in case of incapacity
• Help avoid guardianship of the estate for minors or incapacitated persons
• Pass property to your loved ones in the manner you wish
• Ensure your property is appropriately protected from your inheritors’ creditors and predators
• Assist in putting your brokerage accounts, retirement plans, insurance policies, business and partnership interests, debt and personal property into trusts or business entities
• Create irrevocable Trusts or other special types of Trusts
An experienced estate planning attorney can help ensure the smooth and continued management of your estate, and just as importantly make sure your wishes are carried out. An estate planning attorney is an integral part of developing end-of-life strategies. Lawyers who specialize in this field help individuals execute a last will and testament, durable power of attorney, healthcare proxies, and revocable or irrevocable trusts.
Hiring an estate planning attorney is necessary when individuals want to keep inheritance assets out of probate. Probate is a legal requirement in all 50 states and is used to validate wills, determine rightful heirs, settle outstanding debts, and distribute inheritance property to designated beneficiaries. Numerous strategies exist to avoid probate. The most common include establishing irrevocable life insurance trusts, living trusts, and designation of transfer on death and payable on death beneficiaries.
On average, the probate process takes six to nine months to settle. When decedents die intestate (without a will) probate usually takes between nine months to one year to complete. Much depends on the estate value, court caseload, and family dynamics. Working with estate planning lawyers is particularly important when family strife exists. Sadly, death can bring out the worst in people. Anger, greed and envy can drive heirs who feel slighted to contest the will and prolong probate for months or years. If heirs contest the Will, the estate is responsible for defense legal fees. If the judge rules in favor of the Plaintiff, the estate is oftentimes responsible for restitution of their legal fees as well. This can create a heavy financial burden and potentially bankrupt the estate. Retaining the services of a qualified estate planning attorney can lessen the potential for family feuds and contesting the will. Often, decedents appoint a family member to the position of estate administrator. This can place a target on their back if siblings don’t agree with the decision. Having a neutral third party manage the estate can squelch potential eruptions and expedite the probate process.
At minimum, estate planning should include a Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney, and Healthcare Proxy. Guardianship for minor children is established through the last will. Individuals with assets valued over $100,000 should consider establishing a trust.
Multiple types of trusts exist and each offers advantages and disadvantages. Estate planners can explain which type of trust will best suit each individual’s needs. It is best to engage in estate planning while in good health. Individuals who procrastinate until they are diagnosed with terminal illness or transferred to a nursing home run the risk of heirs contesting the Will. Heirs can claim the decedent was not of sound mind because of their illness.
Many estate planning lawyers provide complimentary consultations to discuss available services and fees. Ask friends or family for referrals or locate estate planning attorneys though phone directories, lawyer referral networks, or the American Bar Association. However, these are important issues that should be addressed at some point in everyone’s life. Certainly, the idea of lacking the mental or physical capacity to make decisions regarding your financial and medical affairs is an unpleasant one, regardless of your age or state of health. Fortunately, there are countless experienced estate planning attorneys who specialize in all aspects of elder law. By seeking the guidance of such professionals, you can ease the stress and confusion that comes along with making these preparations.
A power of attorney is a written authorization empowering a trusted person to make decisions regarding finances and health care on your behalf, should you lose the capacity to make such decisions on your own. While you may be reluctant to designate such, there are many crucial reasons to do so. A lawyer specializing in elder law can help you build a solid plan for the future of your financial and physical well-being, so you can relieve the anxiety of the unknown and protect yourself from family members who may be inclined to take advantage of your frailty. Most importantly, this is the best way to maintain control of your life, as the person you designate will be required to respect your wishes in every way possible.
Protect Your Assets And Financial Matters
A financial power of attorney authorizes someone else to handle your financial matters. This can include simple tasks, such as opening your mail and paying bills; or more complicated responsibilities like filing tax returns. Either way, consulting an estate planning attorney with experience in elder law is the first step to safeguarding your financial assets. The person you choose to handle your finances need not be a financial expert, but merely a competent individual that you trust to handle your sensitive matters with common sense.
Ensure That Your Health Care Wishes Are Honored
For many individuals, the most important aspect of estate planning is designating a medical power of attorney. It can be scary to think about losing the ability to speak for oneself when it comes to health-related issues, including critical life support situations. Appointing a trusted person to make medical decisions on your behalf is the only sure way to see that your health care wishes are granted. If you would like to leave specific instructions regarding medical procedures and end-of-life issues, it is advised that you draft a living will. In some states, these two documents can be combined into one form, known as an advance health care directive. Although living wills may seem relatively cut and dry, there are instances in which they are disputed. If you feel you have legitimate grounds to dispute a living will or advance health care directive, a qualified litigation attorney can advise you on the next steps you should take. When deciding whether or not to hire an estate planning attorney, it is important to know exactly what they do and what services they have to offer. These proceedings are undertaken as a means of legally and formally preparing for future life and after-life. This can include protection of assets, health, power of attorney and much, much more. Estate lawyers and their firms work with respect to your post-life planning, while keeping you involved and informed along the way. There are several important decisions to make regarding where all of these items will go. These professionals know the ins and outs of the court system so that all paperwork is fulfilled completely and on time. There is a formal process for carrying this legal documentation through the court system, which experienced estate attorneys will fully understand and can simplify into terms their clients can appreciate.
Estate Attorneys Take Planning To The Next Level
An experienced lawyer knows and understands all that is required so that your assets are completely protected in the case of illness or even death. Hiring an estate planning attorney that has completed cases like yours before can also speed-up the process and reduce the learning curve. Nobody wishes to spend months getting their information together should there be a serious accident in the future. The complexity of most legal documentation is why ninety-five percent of individuals hire estate lawyers for their paperwork. Most do not wish to face the possibility of losing assets, including that of money and belongings, due to miscommunication or lack of knowledge of court procedures. All of these items are specific to each specialist, due to the work it took to acquire the knowledge. Speak to several professionals prior to hiring the one you and your family feels best suits your needs.
What Types Of Situations Do These Professionals Handle?
The types of cases that these particular legal professionals take on are completely dependent on the firm, their availability and their willingness to take on a particular planning situation. Working on the fine details of a life and after-life planning day in and day out can easily and quickly become a full time job. Therefore, it is often necessary for most of us to hand-off the responsibility to someone who can put their complete effort into it. It’s important to note that these proceedings are also an ever-changing legal process. What was legal and protective one year may have changed due to federal or state regulations the year after. To fulfill all paperwork and legal notations required can take anywhere from a few short days or weeks before everything is complete. Be patient and understand that good legal work does take time and proper filings.
What Types Of Suits Do They Not Handle?
Small suits regarding items such as traffic tickets, small family disputes and other such situations are normally taken on by general practice lawyers. For professional assistance in asset protection, contact your local estate planning attorney for valuable answers to your questions.
A Will Ensures Assets Are Distributed And Children Are Taken Care Of
For a long time, it was thought that only wealthy people needed wills. However, everyone should have one. Many people have assets such as a car, home, savings account and more. Having this important document drawn up lets your family know what should happen with these matters after you’ve passed. Although you’ll be gone, a professionally executed will can eliminate bickering and negative feelings among your bereaved friends and family.
If you have minor children, it’s a definite must. This legal document will spell out what should happen to your children if you die. Without such, your children could find themselves in the middle of a custody battle between relatives, be placed in foster care, or end up with a relative who may be uncomfortable acting as their guardian.
A Living Will Ensures Your Medical Wishes Are Followed
A living will is a much different type of document. A living will, also known as an advanced medical directive, spells out what you want to happen in the event that you become too sick or incapacitated to make decisions for yourself. You can also appoint someone to act as your medical power of attorney, which is the person responsible for medical decisions in the event that you’re unable to make them for yourself. Many states have outlined statutes that determine when an advanced medical directive goes into effect. If you’re unsure about what’s best for you, contact estate lawyers in your area and ask for advice.
Ask Estate Attorneys About Trusts: They’re Not Just For The Wealthy
A trust fund conjures up images of wealthy young people who’ve never worked a day in their life, but this is a complete stereotype. Anyone with assets to pass on can create a trust for a relative. Estate planning attorneys can explain trusts in greater detail but, basically, a trust provides the deceased with the ability to determine how money is to be spent after they’re gone. Trusts are the perfect solution if you want to ensure that your beneficiaries finish college before the money is distributed or if you want to space out the distributions so the beneficiary isn’t provided with one large lump sum of cash.
These documents aren’t the only ones that estate lawyers can help with. Make a list of your assets and then talk with estate attorneys to see which documents they recommend for your specific situation. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for estate planning. Attorneys who help with this specific type of planning for the future should be consulted before making any decision that affects your relatives.
Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer
It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!
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|• Type||Mayor/City Council|
|• Mayor||Debbie Winn|
|• Total||24.16 sq mi (62.57 km2)|
|• Land||24.14 sq mi (62.52 km2)|
|• Water||0.02 sq mi (0.04 km2)|
||5,050 ft (1,537 m)|
|• Density||1,480.61/sq mi (571.69/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−7 (Mountain (MST))|
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Tooele (/tuːˈwɪlə/ too-WIL-ə) is a city in Tooele County in the U.S. state of Utah. The population was 35,742 at the 2020 census. It is the county seat of Tooele County. Located approximately 30 minutes southwest of Salt Lake City, Tooele is known for Tooele Army Depot, for its views of the nearby Oquirrh Mountains and the Great Salt Lake.