Most of us don’t put nearly as much though as we should into planning how our estates will be distributed, and the estimates are that nearly two-thirds of Americans die intestate, without having prepared a will. While their estates will eventually be distributed according the inheritance laws in their states, those laws may not reflect at all how they would have chosen to pass on their assets. If you want to avoid that situation, finding a firm of experienced estate planning attorneys is your best answer.
Estate planning attorneys have a comprehensive understanding of the probate process in your state, as well as up-to-the-minute knowledge of estate tax laws. They will help you ensure that your final wishes regarding the distribution of your estate, as well as your health care and life support wishes, are carried out.
Estate planning attorneys can help you regardless of whether you want to draft a simple will for a small estate; to change an existing will so that it reflects a change in your financial status; to establish a living trust; or to set up an estate plan which includes a will, trust, and your health care and life support directives.
Your estate planning attorneys will help you determine, from the existing state of your financial affairs, including your investments, real estate holdings, and personal property, what your estate planning goals should be. They will help you get a realistic picture of the potential needs of your survivors, and elicit a clear understanding of your final health care desires.
With that information, estate planning attorneys can then explain to you the best alternatives for seeing that your estate is handled as you wish. They will not only discuss wills and trusts; they will present options which you can employ immediately to lessen the taxes and probate costs on your estate.
Estate planning attorneys can also advise you as to whether or not any personal changes in you life will require a change in your estate plan. If, for instance, you are widowed or divorced, in you later years, and considering remarriage, you should be aware that there may be consequences for your estate.