How to Set up an Estate Plan With the Help of Your Attorney

How to Set up an Estate Plan With the Help of Your Attorney

Only forty-four percent of adults in the United States have a will.

Wills are a written set of directions that set forth your wishes for how your finances and property will be distributed upon your death. A will is only one part of an estate plan which can also include important documents such as a durable power of attorney.

Creating an estate plan can be a daunting task but you can do it with the help of an experienced attorney.

Read on to learn how to set up an estate with these helpful tips!

Determine Your Heirs

Before you create an estate plan you should consider your heirs and what you seek to accomplish.

Your heirs are the beneficiaries you list that will inherit money, stocks, or other property you own after you pass away.

By considering who your heirs will be and their ages, this will help you and your attorney begin creating the road map of your estate plan. For example, do you have adult children or young grandchildren that you want to bestow a gift upon? What are their spending habits?

The answers to these questions will allow your attorney to make appropriate recommendations so that you establish the most effective estate plan for your situation.

Keep an Open Line of Communication

An estate plan will be most effective if you keep an open and honest line of communication with your counsel.

Speaking about your finances is a very personal and private thing for many people but you need to be comfortable with your estate planning attorney in each conversation.

For example, you should ensure your lawyer knows all about your financial situation. This means listing out all of your important bank accounts, valuable personal property, and any real estate you own.

If don’t lay all your cards on the table with your lawyer, you risk creating an estate plan that won’t do what it should for you and your heirs.

You will learn more from your estate lawyer by being open and honest during your meetings.

Consider The Impact of Tax Laws

Your estate plan should consider the impact of tax laws and state statutes.

The statutes in the state where you are a resident will govern the enforceability of different documents in your estate plan. You must ensure that your attorney is familiar with the laws in your state. Otherwise, they may draft a will or other document that is unenforceable after your death.

Tax laws are governed by federal statutes and tend to change from year to year. Once you establish your will and the rest of your estate plan, you should revisit these with your attorney every few years.

This will help you ensure you are leveraging the tax laws for the best benefit of your heirs.

Wrapping Up: How to Set Up an Estate Today

An experienced attorney can show you how to set up an estate in the most effective way.

Before you decide to hire an estate lawyer, spend time speaking with a few different ones to get a better sense of how they operate. An estate plan will be your legacy after you die, so it’s important to do it right.

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