Estate Planning Attorney – Legal Assistance With Your Assets
A study, conducted in January, asked more than 1,000 respondents whether they had estate-planning documents in case of their death. According to AARP.org, about 60% of Americans lack a will or any estate planning.
Estate planning is an integral part of an individual’s life. You can probably understand the many complexities that can happen in families when estate planning hasn’t occurred. Thus, those who are working on their estate planning need to consider various factors to designate their assets among the members of the family properly. Most assets are included in estate planning such as houses, cars, paintings, stocks, pensions, and life insurances are commonly shared and divided.
These days, more people are proactive in taking mindful actions about their health care power of attorney, which grants someone legal authority to make medical decisions for you if you’re incapacitated. A little over half of the adults have a power of attorney (POA) in place according to the AARP.org survey, with 83% of people over age 72 having this document compared with 41% of millennials.
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the process of preparing tasks that will manage an individual’s asset in the event of incapacitation or death. The estate planning revolves around dividing or the partition of properties among the heirs as well as the settlement of taxes. Most, if not all, estate plans are prepared with the help of a professional and highly-skilled estate lawyer.
In addition to the division of properties and settlement of taxes, estate planning is conducted to preserve appropriately, and manage the properties after the death of the original owner, usually the head of the family.
An individual may start estate planning even during the healthiest or peak of his life or career. There are several reasons why a person starts on estate planning. These are:
- to preserve the wealth of the family,
- adequately provide for the surviving spouse and children,
- a fund for the needs of the children or grandchildren, or
- leave a great legacy in a charitable institution or foundation.
Since estate planning concerns several factors in an individual’s assets, it is essential to seek professional assistance from a highly-skilled lawyer specializing in estate cases.
Aside from writing a will, there are other important tasks need to be accomplished such as the following:
- Setting a dominant Power of Attorney (POA) to manage the assets, properties, and investments
- Conducting annual or quarterly events for the individual’s chosen charity or foundation
- The setting of funeral arrangements as may be deemed necessary
- Creating and updating the list of beneficiaries on the plans such as educational and life insurance
- Choosing the executor who will oversee the preservation and management of the properties
- Establishing a responsible guardian for the living dependents
- Limiting the estate taxes by setting up a trust account under the names of the legal beneficiaries
Common Misconception about Estate Planning
Everyone has an estate or property, which can be anything from cars or small pieces of furniture. Whatever the size of the property in question, estate planning should be a priority for all. Estate planning is for everyone and it’s never too early to start the estate plan.
The Process of Estate Planning
Estate planning is not as difficult as it seems. With the help of a competent lawyer specializing in estate planning, you and your loved one can settle properties that need to be shared with the chosen heirs.
Start by creating an inventory of the property
Starting an estate plan is easier when all properties and debts are properly listed down. In this list, include the account information, PIN or password, and other pertinent details in order to access the monetary accounts. In some cases or as the bank may require, you can endorse the property to the fiduciaries.
Create a reliable contingency plan
One of the benefits of estate planning is that you know what will happen to the property you worked for. On the other hand, the contingency plan is a strategy that will allow you to determine how you can adequately provide for your family in case you are incapacitated or faced unexpected death.
Determine the needs of the dependents or heirs
Another primary goal of an estate plan is to determine who will be the dependents or heirs. It will give you a clear idea on who will benefit from the properties and who will receive the assets.
Protect your properties
Estate planning can help an individual to protect the assets and properties. Our lawyers in Law Office of Lawrence J. Coogan specializes in estate planning and providing detailed strategies to process transferring or disposing of assets like a family-owned business, real estate or investment property, or stock in a closely held business.
Document your will or wishes
Creating a will is an important aspect of estate planning. Thus, it is natural to create a will which includes your wishes not just for the properties and assets to be divided and shared among the heirs but also the debts and estate taxes that needs to be settled.
Choose legal fiduciaries
Choosing a legal fiduciary must be done in front of a competent lawyer to determine the legitimacy of the selection. It is applicable in big families or in instances when they adopted some members.
It’s never too early to prepare an estate plan. Whether you’re in your adult age or senior years, planning for the welfare of your family and assets should be prioritized.
Contact our competent and highly skilled lawyer at (313) 381-0044 or send us an email via our contact page to schedule a free consultation today. Our office is open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. We also schedule meetings beyond office hour to meet you at your most convenient schedule.