Estate Plan Lawyers
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What Is an Estate Plan?
An estate plan is a strategy regarding the manner in which a person’s estate is to be overseen upon their death. Estate planning usually covers issues such as property distribution, trust administration, beneficiary rights, property taxes, and outstanding debts. In order to avoid legal conflicts, it is necessary for the estate plan to be clearly written.
It is best if the estate holder creates their estate plan while they still capable of making legal decisions. Estate plans can sometimes undergo several revisions throughout the person’s life as major life changes and property acquisitions occur. Also, estate plans will generally include selection of an estate administrator or executor, who will be responsible for overseeing the estate upon the person’s death or incapacity.
What Are Some Tips when Making an Estate Plan?
When making an estate plan, it helps to consider the following points of advice:
- Consider your entire estate: Any property that is not subject to a personally written document may be overlooked, or it may pass inadvertently to the state instead of to a relative or loved one
- Be aware of changes in laws when moving from state to state: Each state may have slightly different rules when it comes to estates and wills.
- Consult a legal professional: It may be necessary to hire a lawyer for help with drafting an estate plan, as the process can be somewhat complex
- You may wish to make an estate planning checklist
Also, it helps to make revisions of your estate plan periodically. By keeping your estate plan current, you can avoid future disputes over property or other estate issues. An attorney can also help you create an estate planning checklist to make sure you haven’t overlooked any important matters.
What Are Some Common Legal Issues Involved with Estate Plans?
Some common estate planning mistakes may involve:
- Failing to meet legal requirements—estate documents need to follow certain legal requirements, such as being signed, dated, witnessed, and other elements
- Failing to update after a major change in assets or property (or after a change in state laws)
- Failure to account for disability
- Poor decision-making with regards to the estate administrator or executor
Also, estate disputes can often be difficult to deal with once authority has been transferred to the estate executor. As such, it’s highly important to select an administrator who is trustworthy and who is familiar with the preferences of the estate holder.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With an Estate Plan?
Drafting a valid estate plan is central to having a secure future in terms of your property and possessions. If you need assistance with an estate plan, you may wish to hire a lawyer for legal assistance. Your estate attorney can help go over your property and assets in order to formulate the correct plan for you. Also, if you are involved in any estate disputes, an attorney can help you file a lawsuit or other similar legal claims.
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Last Modified: 01-10-2014 11:42 AM PST
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