The Best Estate Planning Advice I can give…
Posted on June 6, 2014
by Margie Connolly
By Margie Connolly, Attorney at Law, Sugar Land Texas
This is a recap of a previous post — but contains information that is very important to consider as you are planning your future as you age, and your family’s future after you or your spouse has passed on. Please take time to read…..
The bottom line – when you seek the advice of an estate planning attorney, you will get the exact answer to your specific question, which will give you peace of mind and money well spent.
When considering if you need to hire an estate planning lawyer, consider this – estate planning is serious business. One wrong word or one missing signature can change the entire intent of a will or trust. Aside from this, the three reasons listed below should be enough to convince you to go out and find and hire a qualified estate planning attorney to draft your estate planning documents
1. State laws are very specific about what can and can’t be in a will, trust, or medical or financial power of attorney; who can and can’t serve as a personal representative, trustee, health care surrogate or attorney in fact; who can and can’t be a witness to a will, trust, or medical or financial power of attorney; and what formalities must be observed when signing a will, trust, or medical or financial power of attorney.
2. The old Latin saying, “Caveat Emptor,” or “Buyer Beware,” certainly applies to estate planning. If you think that you’ll be saving a few dollars by using forms found on the internet or in a do-it-yourself book to prepare your estate planning documents, then your family will be in for a rude awakening when they learn that part or all of your will, trust, or medical or financial power of attorney isn’t legally valid or won’t work as you had anticipated. Thousands of dollars will then be spent by your loved ones working with a qualified estate planning attorney after the fact to fix your mistakes.
3. Take a look at your life and your assets to see if you fit into one or more of the following categories:
- You’re in a second (or later) marriage
- You own one or more businesses
- You own real estate in more than one state
- You have a disabled family member
- You have minor children
- You have problem children
- You don’t have any children
- You want to leave some or all of your estate to charity
- You have substantial assets in 401(k)s and/or IRAs
- You were recently divorced
- You recently lost a spouse or other family member
- You have a taxable estate for federal and/or state estate tax purposes
If one or more of these situations apply to you, then you’ll need the counseling and advice of an experienced estate planning attorney to create your estate planning documents. Otherwise, it may be a probate lawyer and your state’s department of revenue and/or the IRS that will receive the largest chunk of your estate. Read more about Margie Connolly at https://mmconnollylaw.com