When Do You Need a Last Will and Testament Lawyer?
A last will and testament is a legal document that expresses a person’s last desires regarding their property. It offers detailed guidelines on how to handle their belongings. If the deceased leaves them to someone else, a group, or desires to donate them to a charity, it will say so.
Additionally, dependents, account management, and financial interests can all be addressed in a last will and testament.
Your assets, including money in the bank, real estate, or priceless things, will be distributed according to the terms of your will and last testament. It will specify who will receive the property and how much of it. It can make arrangements for guardianship of surviving dependents.
A last will and testament lawyer can help you specify who gets your business or investments. A will and testament lawyer can also designate a charity (or charities) to receive assets through a will. A last will lawyer can also ensure that your wishes are followed if you want to leave assets to a business or organization.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Last Will and Testament Lawyer in the U.S.?
A flat charge for a straightforward will often cost around $300. You’ll have to pay a higher flat cost if your estate is bigger and more involved. Your price in that situation might be $1,000 or more.
What to Look For in a Last Will and Testament Lawyer
- The lawyer should concentrate on estate planning
- The lawyer should have years of practice
- The lawyer needs to have board certification in estate planning
- The lawyer should have a stellar reputation
- The lawyer should address your unique demands
How to Prepare for Your Consultation With a Last Will and Testament Lawyer
Understand Your Assets
Before consulting with a lawyer to draft your last will, you should have a rough knowledge of your assets. This understanding of assets also encompasses the titles of your assets. You will need to be aware of their joint titling status. If they are jointly titled, you must know the other parties listed on that license or deed.
Be realistic when determining the overall value of your possessions. You must also be aware of any end-of-life or transfer-on-death (T.O.D.) designations that may have been made. You must be aware of whether or not you have made a beneficiary deed if you own real estates, such as vacant land or a house. Before discussing your last will, be aware of the details of your assets.
Understand Your Debts (What You Owe)
After your passing, creditors (individuals or organizations who believe you owe them money) may file claims. According to the law, they will have a certain amount of time to file claims against your estate.
The total amount of property you “own” at the time of your death is your estate. If you want to properly plan for your end of life, you should consider what these debt claims might be. Frequently, the aim is to maximize the wealth of people who follow you, i.e., your family and heirs.
You’ll want to know who can sue you or your estate for unpaid debts. You’ll want to know if your wife, kids, coworkers, or other people are liable for that loan. Depending on whether the debt is asserted against you only or other persons are also considered liable for it, different planning is required.
You’ll need to know the overall sum of your expected debt claims. Whether or not they are asserting a lien against you is something you should know. Such liens might also consist of a monetary court judgment rendered against you.
A mortgage would be a part of the lien. The lien may cover delinquent medical costs or unpaid child support.
Determine Your Heirs
When drafting a last will, you should consider who you want to benefit (and who you want to inherit some of your possessions) from your estate. But you’ll also need to be aware of everyone who might have a claim if you didn’t create a will. Your “heirs” are those people. Your wife would be among your heirs..
All your children or those who may become your children, biological or adopted, would be considered your heirs. Your siblings should be considered prospective heirs. This is because the probate court will probably demand that these individuals be named, whether or not you have a will.