Because it is important to know that the legal framework is in place for your assets to pass as you intend once you die, hiring an estate planning attorney is an important decision. A practitioner of this sort possesses vast knowledge about applicable state and federal laws concerning the drafting of wills, powers of attorney, and trusts that can help your loved ones avoid lengthy probate processes.
While it is true that an estate planning lawyer may not always have specialized professional certification permitting them to practice in this area, an effective one will have gained vast experience over years of actual experience helping clients achieve their desired disposition of assets upon death. However, in some jurisdictions, lawyers in this area can earn specific estate planning credentials, which helps distinguish them from more general practitioners.
One of the key goals of an estate planning attorney is to help clients reduce the amount of inheritance or estate taxes that will have to be paid in relation to the assets left behind. They can also assist in preparing critical documents such as trusts, wills, and the like. Finally, they can guide clients through drafting documents such as advanced directives or living wills, which are designed to fulfill an individual’s wishes with respect to end-of-life care and life-sustaining medical treatment.
When it comes to identifying the right estate planning attorney, there are many ways to go about the process. State and local bar associations often maintain helpful attorney referral resources to help the public locate specific types of lawyers within their geographic area. Alternatively, professional financial advisors can often provide useful recommendations of estate planning attorneys with whom their clients have worked in the past. Asking friends or family members who have had a particularly positive experience with an estate planning professional can also serve as an invaluable source of referrals.
While it can certainly be difficult to contemplate one’s own mortality, formulating a concrete plan for the disposition of assets is a crucial step in anyone’s life. Providing for the future well-being of loved ones is a priority for most, and that is why the distribution of money, property, and the like must not be left to chance, or even to the potentially unpredictable whims of the probate courts. A seasoned professional has the background and knowledge necessary to help ensure that every client’s true wishes are carried out in the most effective and cost-conscious manner.