Estate planning requires the support and advice of an experienced estate planning attorney to assist with the processing of an individual’s effects, including property, estate, and even intellectual and non-tangible property. Once a person has chosen the right estate planning attorney, these are the issues they need to discuss and address.
1. Distribution of assets: the most common document for asset distribution is the will. It is a legalized document that clearly establishes how a person’s assets will be divided among the heirs, in the event of the owner’s death. An estate planning attorney makes sure that the designed will consists of all the important aspects of the distribution to avoid feelings of discontent among the survivors.
2. Asset management for surviving spouse and others: In the will, designed with constant legal advice and counsel, the estate planning attorney may suggest the formation of a trust. This trust will hold the assets of the particular person, say their spouse, and will keep them. Establishing a trust will also help lessen the tax burden on survivors.
3. Guardianship of dependents: The will can also help secure the support of any dependents, including minors, relatives with special needs, or mental or physical illnesses. In the will, a guardian may be assigned who will be entrusted with the responsibility of caring for dependents. In the case of minors, this responsibility may be entrusted to the guardian until the minors reach legal maturity. The appointment of a guardian should be made after discussion and advice with the person you want to take responsibility.
4. Charitable donations: In the will, you can also designate the assets you want donated to charity. Legal and tax advice is important to ensure that the gift is accepted and assigned according to the instructions in the will. Charitable donations include donations, life insurance, property, financial accounts, stocks and shares, trusts, and IRAs.
5. Health care decisions: one of the most important issues an estate planning attorney can help you with. This can involve everything from medical procedures you don’t want to whether you want to be cremated or buried. Most of these decisions are made with the uncertainty of life in mind and how you may not be in a position to make decisions about how you want to be cared for. These advance directives are included in a legal document, called a living will.
6. Power of attorney: This legal document puts one person in charge of making decisions in absentia. Specific powers of attorney, such as health, financial, etc. It can also be assigned to ensure that no person is burdened, or someone with specialized knowledge manages one’s assets after death. This will help resolve any power struggles that survivors may have. Power of attorney can also be mentioned in the living will, to entrust a responsible and more trusted person with complete authority over any decision that needs to be made.