Estate planning gives you the peace of mind knowing that you have prepared for the future. Life can be unexpected, and if you have a family and kids, then you want them to be taken care of just in case something happens to you.
However, it is more than just that. Estate planning takes away the headache and drama that may accompany the loss of a loved one. The truth is, this is serious as one simple wrong choice of words and a missing signature can have big consequences on the validity and execution of the trust.
Estate lawyers are there to help in estate planning to be sure that everything is done properly. While some people think that they are unnecessary and that they themselves can prepare these documents, it is simply not true. They are important because there are specific laws on every state that affect estate planning.
Some state laws are very specific about those who can serve as trustees, for example. Unfortunately, if you are unaware of these rules, you end up making a costly mistake. Worse, if you just use some form you found online or from unreliable sources, then the whole trust or will becomes totally void. Your loved ones will have to spend thousands of dollars just to fix these mistakes.
Lastly, an estate lawyer can help with some complex situations, whether it is with the family or finances. In this day and age, there are many second or more marriages, with children coming from more than just one partnership. Other complicated situations include recent divorce, children and tons of assets. If you have these issues, then consulting with the best estate planning attorneys Los Angeles can help greatly.
How To Find A Top Estate Planning Lawyer
Determine If You Need One
If you have a complex situation like that mentioned above, then an estate planning lawyer is not just a plus, but it is actually a necessity. They are very helpful in helping you plan based on your specific situation, not based on just some generic tips suitable for those with much simpler circumstances. For example, even having a disabled family member requires some expert advice because an inheritance might affect the disabled family member’s right to receive an allowance for their disability.
Exercise Due Diligence
One huge positive is the fact that estate planning lawyers have tons of public records that may be used as reference even before setting up a phone or face-to-face meeting. You may check with the local bar association or other certifications to double check the lawyer’s experience in estate planning.
When you do sit down for your first meeting, take the time to ask your attorney about their practice and even ask for references. Clarify what services are included and how much it will cost you. A top estate planning lawyer will explain everything in detail and though you will have to pay for their services, they will convince you that they are worth every penny.
Get It All In Writing
Because of various regulations and laws in different states, fees may also differ depending on where you live. To avoid any future issues, get a list of applicable fees in writing for your reference. This ensures you are not overcharged and that you will get all the very important documents in the end.
It is also important to ensure your estate planning attorney is insured and that you have a copy of this insurance. In some extreme cases, they make mistakes that can be costly for you and your family. Having a copy of their insurance will assure you that they may be held responsible for any costs that arise because of their mistakes during the planning.
More than 50% of Americans who have children do not actually have any will in place. This is either because they are unaware of the need for it or they find it too expensive to talk to a lawyer. Unfortunately, when they pass away, the state gets to decide how their assets will be distributed, and this might be unfair for the families they left behind.
If you are going to plan for the future anyway, then the best thing to do is to do it perfectly. So search for the best estate planning lawyer now and get all the help you need to draft the appropriate trust or will for you and your family.