Estate planning is very important, and people often don’t think about it until it’s too late. It can be a useful tool to save your assets for your children and grandchildren and to set them up to be successful.
What is an estate?
An estate is someone’s entire net worth, including their possessions, any properties they own, and of course, any cash. The word estate particularly refers to all of these assets in relation to your death.
What does an estate planning attorney do?
An estate planning attorney is a lawyer who has a thorough understanding of the laws regarding how your estate will be managed, valued, inventoried, and dispersed after your death. An estate planning attorney can help you manage your assets, divide them up, and pass them on in a way that is both legal and the most advantageous for you and your successors. This just means that an estate planning attorney will work to maintain as many of your assets as possible throughout the process, to keep them safe from taxes or other fees.
What can an estate panning attorney help me do, specifically?
An estate planning attorney has various functions. The first possible way an estate attorney can help you is by creating your will. Through your will, an attorney will be able to designate your beneficiaries. Your beneficiaries are the people that will receive anything from your will, whether that be money or property or even material goods. Along those lines, estate attorneys can also set up any trusts you may need to protect your assets. Trusts can be helpful because they protect your assets, both during your lifetime in the event that you are incapacitated and after your death, for the benefit of your beneficiaries. Estate attorneys can also establish power of attorney and medical durable power of attorney, who would speak on your behalf if you could no longer do so because of medical reasons. And finally, estate attorneys can help you at making the process of creating a will and choosing beneficiaries smoother. This includes avoiding and reducing taxes when possible and avoiding the probate court process, as well.
To speak with a Divorce Matters attorney about estate planning, contact us today and ask for Miguel Mondragon, our resident estate planning expert!