Estate planning

The estate attorneys included in our network work very hard on your behalf when planning your estate. Estate planning is an ongoing process with changes occurring over time. This is a main reason why your estate attorney is looking to establish a relationship with you.

Begin the process by getting affordable counsel from one of our knowledgeable estate attorneys.

Estate planning begins with drafting a Last Will and Testament or Living Trust. Naming your beneficiaries, establishing how your assets will be distributed, organizing how your last wishes will be executed are among the most important provisions to be made.

Your estate plan begins with a will or living trust.

A will provides your instructions, but it does not avoid probate court. Any assets titled in your name or directed by your will must go through your state’s probate process before they can be distributed to your heirs. (If you own property in other states, your family will probably face multiple probates, each one according to the laws in that state.) The process varies greatly from state to state, but it can become expensive with legal fees, executor fees, and court costs. It can also take anywhere from nine months to two years or longer. With rare exception, probate files are open to the public and excluded heirs are encouraged to come forward and seek a share of your estate. In short, the court system, not your family, controls the process.

Not everything you own will go through probate. Jointly-owned property and assets that let you name a beneficiary (for example, life insurance, IRAs, 401(k)s, annuities, etc.) are not controlled by your will and usually will transfer to the new owner or beneficiary without probate. But there are many problems with joint ownership, and avoidance of probate is not guaranteed. For example, if a valid beneficiary is not named, the assets will have to go through probate and will be distributed along with the rest of your estate. If you name a minor as a beneficiary, the court will probably insist on guardianship until the child legally becomes an adult.

An estate attorney will help you organize all your titles, records, assets and draw out your beneficiary designations. If something happens to you, would your family know what to do with your financial records, insurance policies, and other important documents?

Planning your estate now will help you avoid many problems your family would be faced with.

Now is the best time to plan your estate.

Connect with one of our qualified estate attorneys now by posting a job. They will assist you immediately to get your estate protected based on your specific needs!

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