Estate Planning Attorney: What They Do and When You Need One
Curious about what an estate planning attorney does? Read more to determine if you need you need an estate attorney to protect your assets and personal property.
Do you need an estate planning attorney? Far too many Americans are delaying their estate planning for when they are older. In fact, less than half of adults in the United States have a last will and testament.
As the age drops, the likelihood of having a will is even less. For Americans age 30 and under, just 20% have drafted a last will.
A lack of estate planning shifts the burden to your loved ones in the event of your untimely passing.
What Is an Estate Planning Attorney?
An attorney with a specialization in estate planning is responsible for managing your affairs after death. You may be wondering what happens to your home, money, and children if you suddenly pass away.
Without an attorney and some pre-planning, the answer is messy. The transfer of your assets and guardianship of your dependents is decided by a judge. Your wishes are not considered without the proper legal steps.
Unfortunately, it does not carry much weight if you verbally tell a sister to take guardianship of your children. A text or e-mail informing one of your children to take possession of the house is also not legally binding.
Instead, an attorney prepares the official legal documentation necessary to transfer assets. They represent you during the probate process to ensure your instructions are meticulously followed if a strategy to avoid probate was not put in place before your passing.
When Do I Need an Attorney?
Death is unpredictable and you never know when your time will come. This is the reason you should work with an attorney to create an estate planning for you as soon as possible.
Many young people believe they don't need one and estate planning can wait. This is untrue especially for young parents with minor children to consider.
Your attorney helps you develop guardianship plans for your children. Without the proper legal documents, the custody of your children is determined by a judge. The legal process can be messy and your children will be dealing with this uncertainty after losing their parents.
As you get older and start accruing assets, an attorney is equally necessary. A lawyer reviews your financial situation and helps determine the best course of action.
They may recommend establishing a living trust to protect your assets. In a trust, you grant control of your assets or property to a trustee. They are responsible for distributing those assets to the beneficiaries you assign. The initial trustee is usually the same person that created the trust.
This is a tactic that many professionals recommend to avoid inheritance or estate taxes. It also can save time and reduce the amount of legal work necessary after death.
If you possess multiple properties and significant cash assets, a trust may be a good fit. You will not know what the best course of action is without searching for an estate planning attorney near me.
Your Guide to Estate Planning
Now you are ready to start estate planning in Chandler. It is never too early or late to consider estate planning. Hiring an attorney is going to ensure the seamless transfer of assets or guardianship of your children in the event of an untimely death.
If you need to hire an estate planning attorney in Chandler, contact us today to speak with an experienced professional. You can call Citadel Law Firm at (480)565-8020 or click here to schedule a free consultation today.