What Does an Estate Planning Lawyer Do?
An estate planning lawyer serves more than just the elderly and uber-wealthy. In fact, an estate planning attorney is necessary and valuable for most “average” individuals and families who want to take some simple actions today in order to prevent a huge headache later.
Whether you have a traditional or blended family, or you are a single individual with a love of animals and a favorite charity in mind, estate planning is for people of all walks of life.
Preserve Finances and Care for Your Loved Ones
Generally, an estate planning lawyer will help you preserve your finances and care for your loved ones.
Our mission at Denni Law is to help you in your journey to establish financial peace – something that most people want to achieve. But the financial aspect is really only one aspect of estate planning.
If you have been working hard and have remained disciplined to save money and start amassing wealth, then you are the forward-thinking type of person. This proactive mindset about your future doesn’t stop merely with the stuff you own, but extends also to the people you love and care for.
So estate planning usually involves two key interests:
- The present and future care of your loved ones
- The present and future care of your assets
Each of these interests are discussed more specifically below.
Considerations for Estate Planning
Caring for Your Loved Ones
Your estate planning lawyer will help you put the legal documents in place to care for your children, spouse, and other loved ones you want to provide for when you are no longer able.
When you think about taking care of your loved ones, incapacity and death are the two events you need to plan for when you think about caring for your loved ones through your estate plan.
Caring for Your Loves Ones During Incapacitation
Incapacitation means you don’t have the mental faculties available to make sound, legal decisions for yourself.
Usually incapacitation occurs late in life, due to Alzheimer’s or dementia, but it could also be brought about earlier in life, such as due to an accident that has caused trauma to the brain.
A large part of caring for you loved ones is making sure that you personally are cared for in the event you become incapacitated. You don’t want to leave your loved ones guessing about your wishes for your medical care because are unable to communicate with them. You also want to make sure you’ve appointed a medical agent to see your wishes are carried forth.
To prevent this, your estate planning lawyer can help you create your Advance Healthcare Directive. In this legal document, you can spell out the type of medical care you would like to receive during incapacity, such as whether to receive artificial life support, and for how long.
You also get to appoint the specific individuals who will have the power to make decisions about your medical care during your incapacity.
As part of each estate plan we create for our clients, we also create the HIPAA release form, which provides your agents with the ability to access your private medical information.
Caring for Your Loved Ones After Death
It may be unpleasant to think about, but it is inevitable that one day we will all pass away. If you have children, hopefully you will pass long after they have become adults.
But to prepare for the slim chance you die while you still have minor children under your care, you can appoint a guardian you trust to care for them until adulthood in the event you are no longer able. Your estate planning lawyer can set up a guardianship for you today so you can enjoy peace of mind knowing your loved ones will be cared for until they reach adulthood.
Caring for Your Assets
An estate planning lawyer can also consult with you and provide services pertaining to asset protection, tax planning, and business planning.
The easiest way to care for your assets with an estate plan is to set up a revocable living trust, which your estate planning lawyer can do for you. You can use a revocable trust to appoint a trustee to manage your assets if you become incapacitated, as discussed above, but also to lessen the financial burden of your overall estate by staying out of probate court.
When you create a will as the main vehicle to transfer your property after you have passed away, you have to involve the probate court to approve your executor, and sometimes even individual transfers of your property. Your estate will expend unnecessary resources of time and money in probate court, that can be avoided when you use a trust instead.
The revocable trust can transfer your property to your beneficiaries after you have passed away, according to your precise wishes, and it does not need the approval of the probate court, like a will does. This has an enormous benefit to the value of your estate and for your beneficiaries after you have passed away.
Additionally, your revocable living trust can appoint a trustee to manage your financial affairs during your incapacitation, and your notarized power of attorney can ensure your appointed agents have the legal power to manage your financial affairs on your behalf.
Can I Do Estate Planning Myself?
When it comes to estate planning, in an effort to save money on an estate planning lawyer, you may be tempted to set up your own estate planning documents.
This is generally not advisable, as you can run into serious problems and unintended consequences in the event you did not create your estate planning documents correctly, or if you did not consider or understand the implications of what you created.
Similar to trying to fix your own car when it breaks, you can run into some serious problems when you attempt to set up your own estate plan. If you are considering drafting your own estate planning documents, you may also want to consider your:
- Knowledge. Are you really that knowledgeable and experienced when it comes to drafting legal documents?
- Time. Do you have the time to draft your own estate plan? Sometimes an “easy fix” can turn into hours of unexpected work, with a result that actually exacerbates the problem rather than fixes it.
You can contact us today for a free quote to handle your estate plan for you. Just call at 888-250-8450 or use the Free Consultation button below.
How Much Does an Estate Planning Lawyer Cost?
The cost of hiring an estate planning lawyer varies widely, depending on the size and complexity of your estate, and other factors.
At Denni Law, we can help you find affordable estate planning services depending on your need and your budget. Just contact us below for a free consultation.
Estate Planning Attorney Packages
At Denni Law, there are various types of estate planning packages we can offer you. One of the most popular estate planning package we create for our clients includes:
- Revocable Living Trust
- Pour-Over Will
- Power of Attorney
- Advance Healthcare Directive
- HIPAA Release Form
- Real Estate Deeds
Our cost for the above package depends on the size of your estate. To get a free consultation and quote, just contact us by clicking the Free Consultation button below.
Do You Have to Be a Lawyer to Do Estate Planning?
Generally speaking, to perform legal services you must be a licensed attorney. If you engage in the unauthorized practice of law, you may subject yourself to criminal liability.
Certain services performed by an estate planning lawyer may also be performed by other licensed professionals, such as paralegals or accountants. The line is not always clearly drawn.
How to Hire an Estate Planning Attorney
Hiring Denni Law for your estate planning services is easy.
- Call us at 888-250-8450, or use the Free Consultation form below.
- After a consultation, we will provide you with a quote for services.
- Complete the engagement agreement and intake form.
After the above steps are complete, we can then create your estate plan for you so you can protect your loved ones and assets.
We look forward to working with you!