When Should You Hire an Estate Lawyer?
Death is an unfortunate fact of life. Even though no one wants to think about their eventual passing, it’s important to consider it for estate planning purposes. Whether you own a business empire or simply a house, a car and a retirement fund, having a strategic estate plan is key.
When you work with an attorney ahead of time, you can strategically plan for retirement and Medicaid, distribute your property to your desired loved ones and assign powers of attorney in the event that you’re incapacitated. It will also ensure your family and friends can avoid probate whenever possible, and that they’re well provided for in their time of grief.
When should you hire an estate lawyer? Here are some potential circumstances where you’ll want to meet with an experienced attorney:
- When you’re asked to be an estate executor: If you’ve been asked to be an estate’s executor, it may be worth hiring an attorney. Executors are required to handle a lot of paperwork, from filing taxes for the estate to distributing assets. If the will is contested, they may also need legal help in addressing the issue.
- When you’re getting married or divorced: Anytime your personal legal status changes, such as with a marriage or divorce, you should visit an estate planning attorney. Most people would not want to leave the bulk of their estate to their ex-husband, for example. It’s also important to provide for your spouse in the event of your untimely demise.
- When you have children or grandchildren: Similarly, when you welcome a new family member, you may want to update your estate plan. You can use your estate planning documents to appoint guardians of your minor children, set up trusts and more.
- When your financial circumstances change: Whether you’re experiencing a financial boom or bust, it’s a good idea to update your estate plan accordingly. You might need to rethink how you’ll distribute assets to loved ones, or you may wish to set up trusts to secure your family’s future.
- When you’re planning for retirement: Retirement planning requires some strategy, especially if you’re hoping to qualify for Medicaid. An estate planning attorney can help you set up trusts and manage your assets so you qualify for necessary services, while still enjoying a comfortable lifestyle.
- When you own significant assets or businesses: The more wealth you own, including businesses, the more you need a comprehensive estate plan. You’ll want to ensure your loved ones are taken care of, and appoint a line of succession for your businesses. An estate planning attorney will help you make good choices to reduce tax liability and account for other important considerations.
- When you want to avoid probate: Finally, whenever you want to avoid probate, you should hire an estate planning attorney. They’ll help you bypass time-consuming probate proceedings while distributing your assets in the way you prefer.
For more information about estate planning, call Ruben J. Padron, PA today. We’ll help you create a comprehensive estate plan no matter the size and scope of your estate.
Categorised in: Estate Lawyer