Lena Salameh, J.D.
Why Do I Need An Estate Planning Attorney?
It is a common misconception that Estate Planning is for the rich. Everyone needs an estate plan, and there are main benefits to estate planning. If you have young children, a home, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, vehicles, business interests, you need an estate plan to protect yourself and your family. No one can predict the future, but one thing is sure: formalizing your intentions in an estate plan will protect your loved ones from seriously difficult situations when the inevitable occurs. Below are only a few of the many reasons why you should plan for the future today. First though, I want to give you a quick clarification of a frequently asked question.
What Is the Difference Between a Will and an Estate Plan?
It’s simple really. Both provide your relatives with instructions about how your property should be handled after your death, but estate planning goes even further to outline your wishes regarding your health, finances, and more; even while you’re living.
What Are The Main Benefits of Estate Planning?
Your Minor Children: Guardianship of Minor Children
If you have young children, you need a will as part of your estate plan. Period. A will does more than distribute your assets to the ones you love. A will allows you to name guardians for your minor children. Without a will, the state will choose a guardian from among your relatives, and it may or may not be the person you would have chosen. In the event that both parents die, having a will ensures that your children are well taken care of. If your named guardian does not live in your state, you can also have a temporary guardianship form executed and choose someone near you to care for your children until the permanent guardian arrives. This will guarantee that your children are not taken into state custody.
Your Health and Finances: Power of Attorney
Estate plans are not only to execute your will or trust. Estate Plans also include Power of Attorney documents. A Durable Power of Attorney (Financial) and a Healthcare Power of Attorney allows you to choose who can make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to communicate. If you become incapacitated or are otherwise unable to handle matters on your own, you can name someone you trust to make those decisions or handle your affairs.
Your Wealth: Probate Process and Estate Planning
Without an estate plan such as a will or a trust, the state will choose how your assets are distributed in accordance with the state’s intestacy laws. This process can take years, be very costly, and get ugly. The probate process can get messy when family members are pitting against each other. Having an estate plan in place can save your loved one’s time and frustration and will help ensure that your assets are distributed in the manner you intend. You can name the person that handles your estate and ensure that you are preserving family harmony.
Is an Estate Planner a Lawyer?
An estate planning attorney is a type of lawyer who comprehends how to advise clients on getting their affairs in order to prepare for the possibility of mental disability and eventual death. They have years of mentoring, continuing legal education, and experience.
How Do I Find A Good Estate Planning Attorney?
The time to think about the future is now. If you’re contemplating how to find a good estate planning attorney near you, Mid-America Law Practice, LLC, can help. Our attorneys provide our clients with top quality estate plans. We provide an open line of communication and flat rate prices. Call us today at 314-818-8807 and set up a free consultation. Or contact us on our site.