The proper handling of an estate is a delicate and crucially important affair for families who want to ensure that their loved ones’ final wishes are fulfilled. The best way to achieve this is by working with an experienced and reputable Estate Planning Lawyer.
THE ROLE OF AN ESTATE PLANNING LAWYER
An Estate Planning Lawyer’s primary responsibility is making sure that the wishes of his or her clients are executed upon their deaths. The level of trust required for such a role is enormous, which is why choosing the right lawyer for such a responsibility is paramount.
For better or for worse, there are numerous legal and bureaucratic hurdles that must be jumped through after an individual dies. The more assets they have, the more complicated the process can be. Having an Estate Planning Lawyer with powers of attorney can ensure that all of the potential challenges are dealt with beforehand, so that the wishes expressed in the Will can be executed properly. An Estate Planning Lawyer can also ensure that the process of probate is completed as expediently as possible.
There are numerous scenarios in which an Estate Planning Lawyer can be useful. However, the most significant benefit of having an Estate Planning Lawyer is being able to call upon a trusted and experienced individual who can ensure that all of the legal documents are taken care of. By removing this burden, the family can instead enjoy and appreciate their remaining time with the elderly instead of worrying about the potential legal issues involved in executing their wishes.
If the elderly is concerned that they might lose their ability to make rational decisions, they can create an “Irrevocable Trust”, which permanently removes their rights to their assets and puts them permanently in the possession of the beneficiaries. Similarly, a “Dynasty Trust” can ensure that multi-generational wishes are fulfilled, and can also help positive tax implications.
AN ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY CAN HELP YOUR FAMILY AFTER DEATH
An Estate Planning Lawyer can create a “Living Trust”, which places the responsibility of those assets into the hands of the lawyer (or another party if so desired). This serves two primary purposes: First, it allows the elderly individual to enjoy their life without needing to worry about the day-to-day management of their estate. Second, it helps make the execution of the will as seamless a process as possible, since the estate is already in the hands of the relevant party.
In addition to helping the family execute the will upon the death of the elderly family member, an Estate Planning Lawyer can generate a “health care proxy” document for the family. This document gives the family the legal right to make healthcare decisions on behalf of the elderly. As the elderly family member’s health deteriorates, this document can ensure that the family can make the proper health decisions when the elderly family member no longer has the mental faculties to do so him or herself.
There are also a number of ways in which an Estate Planning Lawyer can help a family member with special needs. A Special Needs Trust can ensure that benefits (such as social security, disability, etc.) are utilized properly, while a Supplemental Needs Trust can ensure that all healthcare costs are provided for.
Ultimately, everyone must decide on their own what is best for their estate. However, an Estate Planning Lawyer can help ensure that proper decisions are made, and can ultimately ensure that those wishes are executed legally and properly.
Contact us to arrange a free consultation with Estate Planning Attorney Adam J. Tobin or to lean more about estate planning.