If you’re concerned about your long-term financial planning but you want to make sure your assets and your heirs are protected, it’s best to speak with an estate planning attorney sooner than later.
The tax code may be changing constantly, but estate planning fundamentals have remained the same. Most adults are surprised to learn that estate planning is among the most-neglected aspect of long-term financial planning.
If you’ve found yourself wondering what can (and will) happen to your assets after you die, or you’re concerned that your wishes with regard to asset distribution may not be adhered to, you’ll need to work with a reputable estate planning law firm to make sure your wishes are outlined properly.
Things to consider
When you sit down with an attorney there are several things, they’ll ask you, before they get started.
They’ll want to know if you have children and if so, how many children are involved. The lawyer may also want to know if you have siblings or grandchildren that will need to be included in your estate plan.
They’ll also have questions about the size of the estate, along with the types of things that will be included. This may include retirement accounts, IRAs, houses, cars, vacation properties and other valuable items.
The lawyer will also want to know how much privacy you want, and whether you’d like to earmark some of your assets for charitable donation, upon your death.
If you own a buisness, the attorney will want to know how much (if any) succession planning you’ve done. This will help ensure that your business is transferred into the hand of a desired person after your death.
Lastly, they’ll ask if there are special considerations you’d like to add. This may include stipulations as to who will handle and manage your estate (and finances, and in some cases, medical decisions) in the event you become incapacitated or disabled and are unable to make these types of decisions on your own.
Why privacy is important
If you die without a will or an estate plan, your estate will be handled by a probate court. Should this happen, all of your information would be available via the public record, which means that creditors and/or heirs could gain access to your probate records and in some cases, they’ll challenge your will.
It’s also worth noting that the probate process can be as expensive as it is stressful; Aretha Franklin and Prince both died without an estate plan, and it’s believed that their assets will be tied up for many years before the probate process comes to an end.
Estate planning attorneys you can trust
If you have questions about the benefits of estate planning and you’d like to speak with a reputable attorney, call The Law Network PC today to schedule a free, no-cost appointment. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and address your concerns, and if you decide you’re ready to move forward we can help you get started.