To many, estate planning is an overwhelming responsibility. While it may be tempting to procrastinate drafting a will, neglecting to do so can be devastating to your loved ones. Grieving family members are burdened with stress and confusion when there is no legal document laying out the desired outcome of your estate. The process, however, does not need to be a grueling one if you have a good estate attorney. It is advisable that everyone, regardless of net worth, creates an estate plan to ensure comfort and stability for his or her family after death or during serious illness.
The foremost responsibility of an estate attorney is to assist the client in creating a legal document determining the distribution of his or her effects after death. Beyond financial concerns, this document can also include the naming of guardians for children. It is often documented in the form of a will, although other legal documents—such as trusts—are sometimes considered.
Estate planning involves more than just deciding where your assets go after you die. Estate attorneys also guide the client through assigning a power of attorney, creating a living will and health proxy within federal and state laws. The client will be asked questions like:
Skilled estate attorneys will do much more than simply assist in drafting a will. They will also emphasize communication between themselves and their clients. Before moving forward with an estate plan, the estate attorney will determine the objectives of the client. Further, the estate attorney will gain a comprehensive understanding of the client’s family dynamics and relationships. This includes special needs of relatives and potentially unhealthy relationships within the family. An effective estate attorney will also encourage communication within the client’s family, particularly with the heirs, for clarity in regards to the future of the estate. Seasoned real estate attorneys will use all of their resources, including reaching out to other advisors, in order to create the best estate plan for the client.
If you are considering the future of your family and estate, contact one of our estate planning attorneys today at (940) 387-3518, or contact us here.