Planning for the future can be intimidating to those who prefer to live in the moment and not worry about what is going to happen tomorrow. However, the future is entirely unpredictable. Developing an effective estate plan is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your loved ones.
As you acquire assets in life you need to have a plan in place which will determine what happens to your assets in the event of your death. Probate administration is costly and lengthy. Having an estate plan will help you avoid probate administration and protect your assets so your family members will continue to benefit from the resources you have earned throughout your life.
The Essential Components of Estate Planning
Estate planning is a complex process that should be tailored to the individual needs of the person seeking to develop their own estate plan. The following documents are generally essential to having an effective estate plan:
- Advanced Directive for Healthcare
- Power of Attorney
Estate planning documents will benefit your heirs and help them avoid seeing your assets go through probate. Having these documents organized will also help your family members locate beneficiary designations, insurance policies, titles to property, and financial documents. One of the primary benefits of having an estate plan is to keep your assets organized and protected.
An estate planning lawyer will be able to help you and your family members avoid common mistakes which can create problems years later. The following are some of the things an estate planning lawyer can help you avoid:
- Not updating the estate plan when circumstances become different
- Keeping out specific people or resources
- Creating an inadequate estate plan
- Failing to carry out required procedures
- Not creating a viable estate plan
By not committing these mistakes you and your family members will have a more organized and effective estate plan.
Drafting Estate Plan Documents
When you have an estate planning attorney draft your estate plan documents you will benefit from having documents that are logical, efficient, and enforceable. One of the most dangerous things that can happen is for your beneficiaries to engage in will contests or trust contests. This type of litigation can last years, and it is possible that your family members will suffer economic and emotional harm if your estate planning documents are incomplete or disorganized.
Good estate planning attorneys will address multiple contingencies in the estate planning documents. You will not have to worry if the unexpected occurs because that scenario will already be covered in your estate planning documents. These protections will help your beneficiaries have an easier time carrying out your intent.
Retaining an Estate Planning Attorney
When you retain an estate planning attorney you will meet with them and discuss your long-term goals. You will be notified of any possible complications or problems that can arise during the estate planning process. Also, you will benefit from attorney-client privilege and attorney-client confidentiality when you retain an attorney. These protections will ensure that you can speak candidly to your attorney without fear that your statements and impressions will be used against you at a later date.