Can you truly say you have it what it takes to draft your own estate plan? For most of you, you probably can't. There is a lot more to an estate plan than listing your assets and deciding who gets them once you pass. Things can get a lot more complicated. Here are three reasons that you should consider hiring an attorney to handle your end-of-life plans:
1. A Lawyer Can Help You Accurately Craft and Customize a Will.
While it is true that you can find basic templates online that will help you fill out a will for yourself, the truth of the matter is that you need to consider that your heir's future is on the line with the content within your will. As a general rule, your life, family and assets are not going to fit very neatly into one of those mass-produced templates. When you need to alter a certain provision in one of those form wills, you run the risk of that provision and possibly even the entire will being invalidated. Therefore, it is better to have an attorney by your side who can help you draft a will accurately from scratch and make any necessary changes throughout your life.
2. An Attorney Can Help Ensure That Your Family Avoids the Probate Process.
Probate. It's an ugly word, and most people do not want to think about their family having to go through the lengthy, expensive process after they die. Luckily, there are ways to avoid it. Some common ways include gifting assets, making use of death beneficiaries (payable on death accounts), and joint property ownership. Another option is a trust. Like wills, there are templates available for trusts. But, again, it is better to leave the drafting up to an experienced attorney to ensure the trust and the rest of your estate plan isn't throw out the window because you crossed a 'T' when you should have dotted an 'I'.
3. A Lawyer Will Know When You Need to Update Your Existing Estate Plan.
While your estate plan from a couple of months ago was airtight, it may not be worded appropriately for the new laws that just came out. Estate planning laws are constantly updating, and this isn't something that you'll likely being staying abreast on. Luckily, your estate planning attorney is and can inform you of any changes that need to be made to your existing plan. Plus, if you purchase a new piece of property or have a baby, you may not be thinking about your estate plan, but your attorney will. In instances when you might overlook the important of updating your estate plan, your attorney will keep you on track.
For more information, contact Flaccus Law or a similar firm.