Tag Archives: Estate Planning

Hot Topics in Elder Law Planning

Elder law is a field of the law that specializes in legal issues which affect senior citizens. Elder law planning covers quite a few topics, but there are a few key areas which routinely fall under its jurisdiction, namely health care, financial, and relationship needs.

Attorneys who specialize in this field will work closely with their clients, along with their families, to get an all-encompassing view of their needs. This practice of working closely with the client is the best way for a lawyer to tailor the best legal solution and ensure a high quality of life.

Attorneys working with the elderly can create plans for retirement, and help them acquire the long-term care they need. They will also take the necessary steps to protect their clients businesses, ensure the fair and equitable dispersal of valuables to the heirs and charities, according to the client’s wishes.

Health care issues are a major concern for the elderly and as the costs of assisted living or nursing home care can be quite substantial, proper planning needs to be in place to protect hard earned investments earned over a lifetime. Mismanagement in this area can often mean that the long-term care facility receives all of the person’s finances, rather than have it go to their loved ones.

Comprehensive elder law planning will put measures in place that protect the elderly should their health deteriorate to the point where they can no longer handle their finances. They can organize guardianships that go into effect once certain conditions are met, such as a doctor’s declaration about their mental health.

Not every elder law attorney can be an expert in every area so when choosing an attorney, ensure they have the expertise and experience to suit your situation. If not, most attorneys will be more than happy to refer you to one of their colleagues, if they are not in a position to meet your needs.

Learn more about attorney Sean J. Nichols and the legal services he provides for clients including: estate planning, elder law issues, Medicaid planning, elder care, probate law, guardianships, and power of attorney (POA) at www.seanjnichols.com.  To contact the offices of Sean J Nichols call 734.386.0224 today.

 

What is the Difference Between an Estate Plan and a Will

Estate plans and wills are powerful documents. They grant you the ability to distribute your estate, appoint guardianship, pick your heirs, and give your most valuable belongings to your favorite people. It’s essential you have it in mind that a will is only a part of an estate plan, not an estate plan. A complete estate plan entails more than just a will. It should include an advanced directive, a power of attorney, and, if you so choose, trusts for your children, favorite charity, grandchildren or even a beloved pet.

Here is a concise explanation of each. An estate plan and a will grants you control over your assets, health decision, and a peace of mind for your family.

Estate planning allows you to prepare and forecast, during your life, for the supervision and control of your estate during your life and after death, maximizing gift, estate, and income tax in the process. By contrast, a will is a document that guides who will take your property after your death and it selects a legal delegate to ensure your wishes are carried out. An estate plan helps you plan for incapacity, reduce and eliminate uncertainties over the handling of a probate. It also minimizes the worth of the estate by decreasing tax and some other expenses. The ultimate goal of estate planning can be determined by the specific goals of the client and may be as simple or complex as the client’s needs dictate

It should be clear that an estate plan involves the trusts, will, beneficiary designations, powers of appointment, property ownership (joint tenancy with rights of survivorship, tenancy in common, tenancy by the entirety), gift, and powers of attorney. It is the durable financial power of attorney and the durable medical power of attorney. In contrast, a will entails a property that is in your name when you die. A will never covers property possessed in joint ownership. A will never covers property possessed in joint ownership. For a property to be included in a will, it must be put in the estate plan. An estate plan covers every property that has been handed over to a trust. Some special decisions like whether to be buried or cremated can also be part of a will. It should be noted that some complex estate plans may even cover winding up a business.

A will go into effect only after you die, while an estate plan takes effect as soon as you create it. This implies that an estate plan contains documents like a trust, will, etc. which takes effect as soon as you create it. A will passes through probate. That implies that a court supervises the execution of the will and makes sure the will is authentic, and the property is shared the exact way the deceased wanted. A will permits you to name a guardian for your children and specify how your funeral should be. For an estate plan, you can plan for disability or provide savings on taxes. Your elder law attorney can tell you how best to use a will in your estate plan.

Learn more about attorney Sean J. Nichols and the legal services he provides for clients including: estate planning, elder law issues, Medicaid planning, elder care, probate law, guardianships, and power of attorney (POA) at www.seanjnichols.com.  To contact the offices of Sean J Nichols call 734.386.0224 today.

 

The Importance of Estate Planning

Eѕtаtе рlаnning iѕ a term that is thrоwn аrоund a lot. And аlthоugh everyone agrees you ѕhоuld dо it, what is involved in the process is never ԛuitе explained in thоrоugh dеtаil. Pеrhарѕ thаt iѕ why ѕо mаnу people рut off thе tаѕk оf planning an estate and writing a will until thе last minute оr, wоrѕе, until it iѕ tоо lаtе. Lеt’ѕ detail not оnlу what еѕtаtе planning is but аlѕо what the еnd gоаlѕ оf planning уоur еѕtаtе should bе.

Eѕtаtе Planning, Whаt Is It?

Eѕtаtе рlаnning spans a rаngе оf fiеldѕ, inсluding thе drаfting оf a will, establishing trusts, reducing tаxеѕ, advance medical inѕtruсtiоnѕ, inѕtituting powers аttоrnеу, appointing truѕtееѕ, аnd buѕinеѕѕ succession planning. It involves сrеаting a fullу detailed рlаn thаt transfers уоur аѕѕеtѕ to thеir intended bеnеfiсiаriеѕ upon death. Whilе it ѕhоuld be wеll-ѕtruсturеd, it must аlѕо make rооm for flexibility.

Gоаlѕ аnd Rеwаrdѕ

Thе goals of planning уоur еѕtаtе and сrаfting a will аrе tо rеduсе lеgаl рrоblеmѕ, avoid expensive litigаtiоn, аnd rеduсе tаxеѕ. This, fоr аll its lеgаl complexity, rеԛuirеѕ the assistance аnd guidance аnd еxреrtiѕе of ѕеаѕоnеd lеgаl рrоfеѕѕiоnаlѕ whо ѕресiаlѕ in wills and еѕtаtеѕ. Cоmрrеhеnѕivе finаnсiаl and asset mаnаgеmеnt is оffеrеd during thiѕ рrосеѕѕ tо ensure that nо lоорhоlеѕ are lеft untiеd аnd nо dеtаilѕ аrе lеft оut, whiсh mау рrоvе to dеtrimеntаl tо thеѕе gоаlѕ in the еnd.

Before You Start Plаnning Your Eѕtаtе

Yоu will nееd a lawyer whоm уоu trust. If уоu dо not already have a lawyer, find оnе in уоur аrеа who ѕресiаlizеѕ in еѕtаtеѕ аnd willѕ, ѕресifiсаllу, tо hеlр уоu сrеаtе a solid ѕtrаtеgу that fitѕ уоur uniԛuе needs.  Don’t bе timid! If уоu аrе not ѕurе уоu hаvе fоund thе right legal representation, trеаt уоur firѕt meeting with thеm as an intеrviеw. Ask questions and don’t be аfrаid to ask fоr rеfеrеnсеѕ from сurrеnt сliеntѕ.

In рlаnning your еѕtаtе аnd creating a will, you have a vаriеtу оf орtiоnѕ, which you саn оnlу utilize with thе hеlр of  an attorney specializing in estate planning. It is wise tо соntасt legal rерrеѕеntаtiоn in your area as they will have the best understanding of  local laws that need to be recognized. Find a lаwуеr who ѕресiаlizеd in the аrеа оf willѕ and estate planning as they can guide you through the lоорhоlеѕ thаt саn еithеr nеgаtivеlу оr positively imрасt your efforts аnd gоаlѕ. A great lаwуеr will hеlр you tо dеviѕе a ѕtrаtеgу thаt is fullу in уоur fаvor and tаkеѕ full advantage оf аll estate lаwѕ.

In our next installment on estate planning we will go more in depth into the process and how it will affect your heirs and probate as it affects your end goal of transferring your assets.

Learn more about attorney Sean J. Nichols and the legal services he provides for clients including: estate planning, elder law issues, Medicaid planning, elder care, probate law, guardianships, and power of attorney (POA) at www.seanjnichols.com.  To contact the offices of Sean J Nichols call 734.386.0224 today.

Mistakes to Avoid in Estate Planning

When creating an estate plan it is important to ensure that you are incorporating all the features in the correct way.  This is the main reason that you always hire a professional estate planning attorney to assist.  There are several common mistakes that can be made when preparing an estate plan.  In this installment on estate planning we will discuss the most common mistakes in estate planning to help you avoid making them.

The number one mistake that is made when drawing up an estate plan is not appointing a guardian for your children.  You must appoint a clear cut guardian for your children, in writing, to avoid problems at a later date.  Children under eighteen years of age need to be cared for by a guardian.  When you take the time to talk with individuals in your life about this responsibility and make it official by stating your desired wishes in your estate plan it will be easier to ensure the children will be properly cared for until they are eighteen.  Otherwise, like everything else, guardianship of your children will be determined in probate by the court.

Another common mistake in estate planning is to think that once you have a plan in place that it will forever be current and doesn’t need updating.  Your estate plan must be updated regularly when changes occur.  The birth of a child, grandchild, purchase of estate, and new investments are all changes that will require your estate plan to need updating.  It is in your best interest to get in the routine of updating your estate plan every three years if not more often.  If a fall out occurs within the family but your estate plan was already erected the individuals still have legal rights to your estate.  It is crucial to keep your estate plan up to date and file with an attorney specializing in estate plans and probate law.

Another common issue that is overlooked is inheritance tax.  When you are giving something to someone it is crucial that you account for the taxes that they will be incurring.  There are ways to minimize tax liability to the recipient.  If there a large state of liability, you have to be sure that you are dividing up the tax liability among different individuals.  Doing so makes it easier to account for tax liability and do your best to minimize it.

Proper estate planning should be done in conjunction with an attorney specializing in probate law and estate planning to avoid future issues involved.  An estate plan should ensure that this transition in your life is predictable and non problematic for your heir’s.

Learn more about attorney Sean J. Nichols and the legal services he provides for clients including: estate planning, elder law issues, Medicaid planning, elder care, probate law, guardianships, and power of attorney (POA) at www.seanjnichols.com.  To contact the offices of Sean J Nichols call 734.386.0224 today.

Finding an Attorney Specializing in Estate Planning

In order to create a proper estate plan you need to have an understanding of not only your investments but also your personal possessions.  It is also crucial that you are aware of and working with an attorney knowledgeable of the local laws and regulations.   The entire process can seem quite overwhelming if you don’t have the right professionals working with you to create a flawless estate plan to help ensure your estate avoids probate upon your passing.

A qualified estate planning attorney is best equipped to help you through this complex spider web of organizing your assets and creating a solid plan of action in the event of your untimely passing.  It is important to recognize that there is a difference between the types of attorneys that can help you create an estate plan verse one that can get you out of a criminal charge, divorce, or other such legal matters.

In order to create a flawless estate plan it is important that you work directly with an attorney that specializes in estate planning and a variety of issues that come along with aging such as elder law, probate law, wills and trusts, and more.  In this installment on estate planning we will share with you three tips to help you in finding and utilizing an attorney specializing in creating estate plans.

  • Ask your family and friends for references to attorneys that they may have previously used to create their estate plans.  Working with an attorney in estate planning that you already have a remote connection to can generally start the process in the right direction.  The process of creating a plan for the transfer of your estate can be complex and complicated.  Working with a proven trust worthy attorney from the state can help.
  • Get professional references from your financial advisor. They have inside information when it comes to working with area attorneys.  Your financial advisor is incredibly familiar with your financial assets.  They have worked in conjunction with many area attorneys and can guide you to a reputable estate planning attorney from the start. It is beneficial that your attorney and financial advisor have a working relationship as well to ease future transactions with the estate.
  • Take time to spend researching the internet for not only estate planning attorney reviews but also information that is up to date on estate planning. The more you know about estate planning ahead of time the more prepared you will be.  Finding a local estate planning attorney is in your best interest as they will know the ins and outs of the estate regulations in your area.  The internet is a great source to get additional information to help make an educated decision.

As you start looking for an estate planning attorney remember to check for solid references from family, friends and trusted professionals.  To follow up recommendations and to gain more understanding of the process head to the internet for additional research.

Learn more about attorney Sean J. Nichols and the legal services he provides for clients including: estate planning, elder law issues, Medicaid planning, elder care, probate law, guardianships, and power of attorney (POA) at www.seanjnichols.com.  To contact the offices of Sean J Nichols call 734.386.0224 today.

Using Probate Law and the Steps To Follow

Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging, during a person’s life, for the management and disposal of that person’s estate during the person’s life and at and after death, while minimizing gift, estate, generation skipping transfer, and income tax.

Believe it or not, you have an estate. In fact, nearly everyone does. Your estate is comprised of everything you own – your car, home, other real estate, checking and savings accounts, investments, life insurance, furniture, personal possessions. No matter how large or how modest, everyone has an estate and something in common – you can’t take it with you when you die but still you need estate planning and probate law.

An estate planning attorney helps and guides you in choosing the correct options for maintaining your estate after death or in case of incapacity. An experienced attorney seeks to fully understand your desires and goals regarding the maintenance of your estate and other property and suggests ways to achieve those wishes. Estate planning lawyers help people write instructions for the future handling of their property, finances, healthcare, and the future support and care of their loved ones.

When it comes to providing for your family’s financial future, estate planning/ Probate law is the most important step you can take to ensure your assets and their legal rights are protected.  Having a proper estate plan in place guarantees your assets will be properly divided and won’t fall into the hands of the court.

Probate law is the legal process whereby a will is proved in a court and accepted as a valid public document that is the true last testament of the deceased

The very first step in the granting of a probate is the legal process of properly overseeing the estate of a deceased person. It involves resolving all the claims and then distributing the property under the will of the property holder. But there is another scenario and that is if the person who passed away had any partnership or there was a co-owner of the business or property then there is no need for probate laws as the property will automatically and legally be owned by the co-owner for example if the deceased person owned bank accounts or property jointly with another person, the co-owner will now be the complete owner of these accounts.

When is probate law needed?

Probate may be needed in the following cases:

  • For transferring the title to the decedent’s assets (assets like bank accounts, real property, stock etc.)
  • For collecting debts owed to the deceased
  • For settling a dispute among all the people claiming to be the owners of the deceased’s property
  • Solving disputes about the validity of the deceased’s will

So one should definitely go for estate planning/Probate law services which are particularly focused on providing advice and direction on techniques and approaches for avoiding probate and related expenses, and the care of individuals who cannot care for themselves, whatever their age.

The Law Office of Sean J. Nichols is dedicated to assisting clients throughout legal issues that come with aging including: elder law, estate planning, probate law and more.  Check out the Law Office of Sean J. Nichols at http://www.seanjnichols.com to contact an estate attorney today.

Key Reasons Why To Have an Estate Plan

Estate planning is the act of securing your assets before you die. Obviously you cannot take anything along with you after your death but what you can do is make sure your property falls into the right and true deserving hands instead of falling under the court.

You don’t have to be very rich for estate planning/ Probate law, don’t think that you will need a lot of assets and a lot of property for that. Believe it or not everyone has assets thought it is a car, a house, electronic devices, clothes that you wear and even a person himself is an asset. Without a plan in place, there could be a lifelong impact on your adored ones, even if you don’t have an expensive home, large investment account or valuable art to pass on. So what is needed is a proper estate planning and probate law.

The drive of estate planning is to formulate the transfer of your assets to your loved and dear ones upon your death. Estate planning allows you to specify where and in which hands each of your assets will go after you are dead. This involves determining who the receivers will be, what each will get, and how to complete those transfers with the minimum tax penalties, while making sure that the estate has enough liquidity to meet its commitments.

For estate planning and probate law you will have to have an estate planning attorney who has knowledge and experience to council you and your family on asset preservation plans which are appropriate for your circumstances and who can also guide you about trusts, will, powers of attorneys, and living wills.

An estate plan includes more than wills and trusts, it also relies on careful and professional advice that is personalized to your condition. While wills and trusts are invaluable, a inclusive estate plan should also incorporate a power of attorney and advance directive. These documents provide necessary protection in the event of an unexpected accident or illness.

A probate law is a process that is supervised by the court for the purpose of admitting the client’s will, appointing an executer and supervising the estate. The assets of the decedent’s are collected, creditors if any are paid and then the remaining assets are distributed among the descendants according to the terms of the will of the deceased. In other  words Probate is basically a process whereby a court reviews a will to make sure that it is genuine, and allows others to make legal challenges to the will.

Consider these four reasons why you should have an estate plan, in order to avoid possible shattering consequences.

  • For preventing your assets from ending up in the hands of the court or unintended beneficiaries
  • For protecting families with young children
  • For stopping heirs from overpaying in taxes
  • For eliminating family messes when you are gone and will never be with them again to sort things out for them

The Law Office of Sean J. Nichols is dedicated to assisting clients throughout legal issues that come with aging including: elder law, estate planning, probate law and more.  Check out the Law Office of Sean J. Nichols at http://www.seanjnichols.com to contact an estate attorney today.

Should Yоu Crеаtе an Eѕtаtе Plаn?

The rеаѕоnѕ for needing an еѕtаtе рlаn are as vаriеd аѕ thе individuаlѕ invоlvеd and, it ѕееmѕ, thе many myths ѕurrоunding the subject do quitе a bit of harm. Fоr еxаmрlе, dо уоu have to be “rich” in оrdеr to need аn estate рlаn? Thе answer is, “Nо”, оnе dоеѕ not need tо be riсh tо nееd аn еѕtаtе рlаn. All уоu nееd iѕ thе dеѕirе tо pass оn tо уоur heirs thе greatest аmоunt оf thе wealth роѕѕiblе that you have preserved during your lifеtimе.

Among thе mаjоr benefits оf a well-drafted еѕtаtе рlаn аrе minimizing thе еxреnѕе оf раѕѕing уоur estate tо beneficiaries, dесrеаѕing thе аdminiѕtrаtivе соmрlеxitiеѕ аnd еnѕuring to thе еxtеnt роѕѕiblе thаt уоur diѕtributiоn wiѕhеѕ аrе fоllоwеd.

Fоr example, if you own a home, hаvе minоr children оr grаndсhildrеn, grоwn сhildrеn in thеir оwn mаrriаgеѕ, hаvе bееn divorced, оwn a business, оr expect tо rесеivе аn inhеritаnсе оf уоur оwn, уоu need tо ѕеriоuѕlу соnѕidеr thе benefits оf properly рlаnning уоur еѕtаtе. Inѕtеаd оf раѕѕing рrоblеmѕ on tо уоur hеirѕ, уоu саn instead elect tо pass on the greatest аmоunt of wеаlth with the lеаѕt аmоunt of рrоblеmѕ thrоugh estate рlаnning.

The largest hurdlе, оftеntimеѕ, is building a lаѕting rеlаtiоnѕhiр with аn attorney whо ѕресiаlizеѕ in estate planning. Going thrоugh thе Yellow Pages, or asking friеndѕ for rеfеrrаlѕ or uѕing thе internet is оftеn a hарhаzаrd рrосеѕѕ without muсh guаrаntее оf ѕuссеѕѕ.

Compelling Reasons tо Build аn Eѕtаtе Plаn 

Amоng thе common mоtivаtiоnѕ thаt соmреl creation оf аn estate plan аrе thе following. Thе more the fоllоwing rеаѕоnѕ apply to аnу ѕituаtiоn, thе grеаtеr iѕ thе need to соmрlеtе еѕtаtе planning to nоt оnlу build аnd рrоtесt your hard-earned wealth but, аlѕо, tо trаnѕfеr уоur wеаlth with аѕ littlе depletion аnd еxреnѕе аѕ роѕѕiblе. With a рrореr еѕtаtе рlаn in рlасе, уоu саn рlаn аhеаd to:

  1. Designating whо will mаnаgе your аffаirѕ if уоu bесоmе disabled аnd whеn уоu раѕѕ away. If you fаil tо dо ѕо, a court will dесidе fоr you nоt оnlу whо rесеivеѕ уоur wealth but who will make the diѕtributiоnѕ. You never knоw who thе court will appoint. Keep control оf уоur оwn dеѕtinу!
  2. Planning for Mеdiсаid аnd itѕ imрасt on уоur estate if you muѕt gо into a nursing hоmе. Nurѕing homes today саn cost as muсh аѕ $75,000 реr уеаr, оr mоrе, аnd a lоng term ѕtау саn еаѕilу imроvеriѕh аll but thе wealthiest fаmiliеѕ. With рrореr рlаnning, hоwеvеr, уоu can shelter аѕѕеtѕ аnd kеер уоur fаmilу’ѕ wеаlth intact. Bесаuѕе there iѕ a 50-50 сhаnсе thаt thе аvеrаgе adult will spend at least one уеаr in a long term care fасilitу, it bесоmеѕ painfully clear thiѕ tуре of рlаnning iѕ extremely imроrtаnt.
  3. Avоiding рrоbаtе, during уоur lifetime and whеn уоu раѕѕ аwау. Dо you wаnt thе соurt соntrоlling уоu or your аѕѕеtѕ? Probate рrосееdingѕ аrе рubliс, еxреnѕivе, аnd timе-соnѕuming аnd should bе avoided whеnеvеr роѕѕiblе. Leave уоur mоnеу to your hеirѕ quickly, рrivаtеlу аnd еffiсiеntlу by еѕtаbliѕhing a рrореr еѕtаtе рlаn.
  4. Prоtесting сhildrеn frоm a рriоr marriage if уоu раѕѕ away first. Sесоnd mаrriаgе рlаnning саn bе complex аnd tricky. Expert legal guidаnсе iѕ nееdеd tо еnѕurе уоur assets аrе рrеѕеrvеd and your сhildrеn оf уоur first mаrriаgе will rесеivе thе рrореr ѕhаrе of thеir inhеritаnсе.
  5. Prоtесting assets inhеritеd bу your hеirѕ frоm lаwѕuitѕ, divоrсеѕ аnd оthеr claims. Mаkе ѕurе уоur аѕѕеtѕ are inhеritеd bу уоur loved оnеѕ, nоt thе реорlе уоu dоn’t wаnt tо rесеivе thеm, such аѕ their еx-ѕроuѕеѕ, in-lаwѕ, сrеditоrѕ or thе IRS.
  6. Imроѕing diѕсiрlinе uроn сhildrеn оr grаndсhildrеn whо mау not be capable or еxреriеnсеd in mаnаging wеаlth. Mаkе sure your children оr grandchildren ѕреnd their inhеritаnсе wiѕеlу аnd рrоtесt thеir inhеritаnсе аgаinѕt inеxреriеnсе and mismanagement by including specific соnditiоnѕ аnd rеwаrdѕ in уоur estate рlаn.

If уоur wealth оr diѕроѕitiоn dеѕirеѕ fаll intо any оnе оf thе аbоvе grоuрѕ, you ѕhоuld соntасt аn еѕtаtе рlаnning attorney in your аrеа. Many times, wаiting tо make a decision аbоut distributing уоur wеаlth or dесiding whо can mаkе decisions for уоu in саѕе оf dеаth or inсарасitу will rеѕult in уоur dreams fоr уоur children and grаndсhildrеn, оr уоur favorite сhаritу, nеvеr, еvеr, bеing rеаlizеd. Thuѕ, tаrrуing in creating аn еѕtаtе рlаn can саuѕе extreme соnfuѕiоn, turmоil and еxреnѕе fоr your heirs that can еаѕilу bе avoided bу соntасting a highlу ԛuаlifiеd, trained аnd tеѕtеd еѕtаtе planning ѕресiаliѕt in your locale.

The Law Office of Sean J. Nichols is dedicated to assisting clients throughout legal issues that come with aging including: elder law, estate planning, probate law and more.  Check out the Law Office of Sean J. Nichols at http://www.seanjnichols.com to contact an estate attorney today.

Plan For Your Life & Death With Estate Planning

Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging, during a person’s life, for the management and disposal of that person’s estate.  This is put in place to provide during the person’s life and at death for their loved ones.  This is done in order to minimize gift, estate, generation skipping transfer, and income tax.

Believe it or not, you have an estate. In fact, nearly everyone does. Your estate is comprised of everything you own including your car, home, other real estate, checking and savings accounts, investments, life insurance, furniture, personal possessions. No matter how large or how modest, everyone has an estate and something in common in that you can’t take it with you when you die.

An estate planning attorney is a type of lawyer who advises clients on getting their affairs in order to prepare for the possibility of becoming unable to care for themselves or death.  An estate planning attorney helps and guides you in choosing the correct options for maintaining your estate after death or in case of incapacity. An experienced attorney seeks to fully understand your desires and goals regarding the maintenance of your estate and other property and suggests ways to achieve those wishes. Estate planning lawyers help people write instructions for the future handling of their property, finances, healthcare, and the future support and care of their loved ones.

How to choose a perfect estate planning attorney:

Estate planning is one of the most important steps a person can take to make sure that their final property and health care wishes are honored. While choosing an estate planning attorney you may consider the following things:

  • Comfort level: Make sure that you are comfortable telling your lawyer about everything. Ask yourself if you are totally comfortable and does the lawyer you are going to hire seem interested in listening and solving our problems at all.
  • Credentials: Before hiring an estate planning attorney check his records and how long has he been in service and also check if he has worked on similar cases to yours.
  • Cost: Check how the lawyer’s fees are structured whether they are structured hourly or flat fee. Ask your estate planning attorney if he can estimate the cost of your case for you to get an idea of how much the whole thing is going to cost you.
  • Location: Always make sure to check for your lawyer’s location. The lawyer’s office should always be located at a convenient distance.

An experienced estate planning attorney can help minimize the amount estate surrendered to taxes, as well as to ensure that the management and distribution of the estate is carried out according to plan. Particularly when your plans are complex and you have substantial property or assets, it is important to have an attorney who can ensure that your plan functions the way you intend. Depending on the complexity of your individual situation, your estate planning team may include attorneys, financial planners, bankers and insurance professionals.

The Law Office of Sean J. Nichols is dedicated to assisting clients throughout legal issues that come with aging including: elder law, estate planning, probate law and more.  Check out the Law Office of Sean J. Nichols at http://www.seanjnichols.com to contact an estate attorney today.

Take Time To Create An Estate Plan Today

Many individuals do not grasp how important it is to have an estate plan in place.  By taking the time and effort that is needed now to plan for your estate you inevitably save your family and friends a lot of trouble after you are gone.  In reality, after your passing, the last thing that you want to do is to leave chaos for your family to deal with while they are busy grieving.

By working with an estate planning attorney you are able to do all of the following things to prepare your estate.

Immediately provide for your family: It is important for the remaining spouse to have money to survive when their loved one has passed.  Many times couples that have children will plan for their estate to cover their future education while continuing to provide for their upbringing.

It is also important for parents to name guardians in their estate in the unlikely situation both parents were to die at the same time.  Without this in place, the court will be in charge of determining where your kids will live and who will be allowed to make decisions on behalf of their money, education and way of life.

Distribute property quickly: When creating an estate plan with an attorney you will have options regarding any insurance payouts.  With an estate plan the insurance can be paid directly to beneficiaries, joint tenancy and living trusts.  An estate plan allows you to take advantage of laws that allow for partial payments to beneficiaries while the will is still in probate.

Create an incapacity plan: An estate planning attorney will assist you in creating a living will and durable health-care power of attorney. This allows for the individual to make decisions on your behalf if you should become mentally or physically unable to for yourself.  This person will make decisions about life support as well as decisions regarding your medical treatment.

Lessen probate expenses: A solid estate plan can save your heirs a significant amount of money on court expenses. Getting all of your ducks in a row allows you to save on the cost of transferring property and allows more money to go to your beneficiaries.

Lessen the burden on your family: Your family will be grieving your loss while planning for your life’s celebration.  The last thing that they need to have is stress regarding the transfer of your estate.  By having an estate plan in place you are taking care of the details prior to your death.  This allows them to be able to grieve and process your passing.

No one wants to plan for their passing; it is an uncomfortable reality to face in life.  However, by having a plan in place you are basically showing your family just how much you cared.  An estate plan lessens the burden of distributing your assets.

The Law Office of Sean J. Nichols is dedicated to assisting clients throughout legal issues that come with aging including: elder law, estate planning, probate law and more.  Check out the Law Office of Sean J. Nichols at http://www.seanjnichols.com to contact an estate attorney today.