Planning for the distribution of your estate is a task that many put off. It may be difficult to imagine that the need for proper estate planning is that important. Perhaps you feel that you have too few assets to bother with. Maybe you've seen the advertisements on television for the do-it-yourself will kits, and wonder if that's a good option. The time to plan for the fair and complete distribution of your assets is now, and the need for a qualified estate attorney should become clear to you after reading the following 8 reasons.
- You and your attorney can create a customized document instead of a fill-in-the-blank template. The available template forms seldom have spaces for your unique circumstances, and this is one area where you do not want to leave important information out simply because you ran out of room on the form.
- One mistake on a do-it-yourself will can cause the judge to declare the entire will null and void. Common mistakes include crossing out words, forgetting to sign the will, disinheriting people that, by law, cannot be disinherited, and so on.
- You may be able to avoid probate with proper planning. Your attorney can help you with creating trust instruments and payable-on-death clauses for some of your investment accounts.
- You may be able to avoid putting your beneficiaries in a dire tax situation with pre-planning. Your estate attorney can help you transfer your investments and assets to accounts that will cause less of a tax impact on your beneficiaries.
- You will have the benefit of an on-going tweaking of your estate documents as your life situations change. Life events such as real estate sales, births, deaths and other life events will require that your documents be updated in a timely manner.
- You will have the benefit of an attorney who will stay abreast of changes to estate laws that could affect your situation.
- Knowing that there is an attorney in charge will make it easier on your loved ones when it comes time to locate your estate documents. It gives them one less task to worry about and ensures that important documents will be filed with the courts in a timely manner.
- Your attorney will be able to help you make a complete listing of your assets, including real estate, stock and bonds, collectibles, vehicles, art work, jewelry, retirement accounts and more.
As you can see, it's vital to have an experienced estate attorney to guide you through the process of estate planning and setting up your will, trusts and other legal documents. You can give your loved ones the final precious gift of peace of mind by planning ahead to lift this burden from their shoulders. Contact a qualified estate attorney from a firm like Skeen Law Offices to get started on this important task.