Estate and trust planning is the process of using professional advisors or lawyers who are familiar with your goals, concerns, and assets to organize your estate and/or set up your trust. Estate Lawyers can assist with Estate planning, which covers the transfer of property at death as well as other personal matters.
Estate administration is the process of maintenance and distribution of assets after someone dies. This is done in agreement with either the will of the decedent (person who died) or state law.
The person appointed to administer the estate may have tax or legal questions that need to be answered by a lawyer or tax professional. An experienced estate lawyer will know what to do, and help guide you through the legal process.
If you choose to create a will or trust, consulting with an attorney experienced in estate planning is always a wise thing to do. Drafting a will or trust can be difficult and the help of a professional can be crucial. The potential tax implications and legal formalities of will and trust drafting make a lawyer's counsel indispensable. A lawyer can explain all your options and help you understand what types of wills or trusts are right for you and your family.
The death of someone close to you is one of the most stressful things you can experience in life, and sorting through the surrounding emotional chaos is bad enough without dealing with a convoluted or missing will. Oral wills and Holographic Wills are also rarely recognized in the U.S., so it is important to prepare an official, self-proving will. Getting your estate in order before you die ensures that your possessions will make a smoother transition into the hands of those you love and care for, and a good estate or trust lawyer can help you with several aspects of estate and trust law:
- Estate Planning
- Estate Administration
- Drafting a Will or Trust
Estate planning is the process of organizing your estate in preparation for your expected or unexpected death. Estate planning lawyers can assist you in choosing beneficiaries, planning for the care of your children, or even making arrangements for your funeral. Most individuals who are single and under the age of 25 do not need to begin planning the division of their estate, but those who are in a position where they have a life partner or young children may find value in planning ahead.
Once your attorney has assisted you in drafting a will or trust—which usually follows estate planning—they may also offer to take care of your estate administration. Estate administration is the maintenance and distribution of assets after a death. An experienced estate lawyer will follow the terms of the drafted will and explain all available options to the involved beneficiaries.
If you would like to learn more about drafting a will or trust, please feel free to post a question on our Wills, Trusts, and Estates Law Forum.