Most folks know that a last will and testament is the centerpiece of any solid estate plan — but it isn’t the only piece. The are many other steps you should take to ensure that your family is taken care of after your passing. Failure to do so could put your legacy in jeopardy and leave a major mess for those you leave behind. With that in mind, here’s what you can expect from estate planning services.
It might not be able to pass on your memories, but a well-thought-out arrangement can reflect your hopes and values. Although its overarching aim is to take care of your family after you’re gone, there are other, more specific goals an estate planning law firm can help you achieve, including:
-Minimizing confusion and delay during the settlement of your estate
-Helping your heirs avoid paying more than they owe in taxes on inherited assets
-Managing your legal and financial affairs should you become disabled or incapacitated
-Guarding your assets against the rising costs of long-term medical care
-Making sure your wishes are followed with regard to medical decisions and care should you be unable to make those decisions for yourself
-Providing for your loved ones according to your wishes after your death
-Overseeing charitable donations
-Working with the executor to manage the distribution of your assets
One of the most common mistakes people make is failure to make short-term arrangements. Death seems like something that will happen in decades. As such, some people are not prepared when an unexpected accident results in disability or death. Of course, the expenses associated with either event could alter any long-term financial goals. That is why estate attorneys must always consider both short and long-term options. They may advise purchasing life and long-term care insurance. These policies will protect your assets in the unlikely event that you are cut down in the prime of your life.
Another aim of estate planning is to help your heirs avoid unnecessary taxes. Although transferring wealth in American almost always involves assorted charges and fees, there are ways to limit them. Trusts and annual gifting, for example, are common strategies an estate planning law firm may employ to avoid unnecessary expenses.
Although they don’t manage money, attorneys often work closely with their clients’ financial advisers. For obvious reasons, the attorney needs to know the size of the estate before he can recommend short and long-term objectives. These plans may and often do change based on input from financial experts. If, for example, the client loses one-quarter of his assets in a stock market collapse, the attorney would have to make the necessary adjustments in the short-term.
An estate planning law firm can help you prepare for the inevitable with a strategy that ensures your legacy.