After reading a basic article entitled “how to write your own will,” you might think you can take on the difficult task of estate planning on your own. After all, writing a will can’t be that hard? Right?
Here at John R. Foley, P.C., we help many clients with estate planning. Without a doubt, it is certainly not something that can be completed at home on your own one afternoon. Estate planning is nuanced and intricate; it takes a careful understanding of the law, and it is certainly not something you want to mess up in any way. By working with a lawyer for estate planning, you can avoid mistakes, save money, and truly prepare for your family and posterity, along with many other benefits.
We are going to outline the reasons to choose a lawyer for estate planning in our blog today. We invite you to read the information presented and contact us if you have any questions. Our law firm serves clients throughout Dearborn and Plymouth, and we would be honored to help you with estate planning today. By working with a lawyer, you can ensure that your estate and assets pass to whomever you want with the least amount of emotional or financial expense. Let’s get started.
You Can Avoid Mistakes
A probate law blog or basic book about writing wills may seem like a good place to start — and it certainly is — but estate law is complicated, detailed, and nuanced. You want to ensure that all your documents are fully valid. Mistakes on your end could cost your family members a lot of money and emotions down the road. These mistakes could include everything from not being clear in your will to not knowing about a change in the laws regarding probates and estate planning. Your attorney will be up-to-date on all things estate planning and can guide you through the process without making mistakes. You should not have to spend hours combing through your paperwork to make sure it is just right; your lawyer can quickly and adeptly do this for you.
You Can Comply With State Laws
Speaking of probate and estate planning laws changing, state laws rule estate plans. So in each state, there are very specific laws about what can and cannot be in a power of attorney, will, or trust. There are laws about who can serve as a personal representative, who can be a witness, and what formalities must be observed when signing all of the documents involved in estate planning.
You most likely do not have a law degree. And you do not need one! Instead, you can simply hire an estate planning attorney to walk you through the process with clarity and patience. Lawyers in Dearborn know all the state laws regarding estate planning and will make sure you comply.
You Can Get Advice
Do you know what you can and cannot put in your will? Do you know how to title assets and choose beneficiaries? You have worked hard over the years to improve your assets and build your estate. Because of this, you understandably want to make sure it is taken care of after you pass. Getting legal advice from estate law professionals regarding your plan is paramount to your success with estate planning. Estate lawyers can objectively provide you with advice regarding everything from how to divide assets and property to how you can ensure your 18-year-old cannot access all their funds you leave them until they reach a certain age.
For example, one unique piece of advice you may get when estate planning with a lawyer includes what to do as a high-net-worth individual. It can be desirable to make monetary gifts to children in order to reduce your estate and, therefore, your death taxes as well. If this could have a detrimental effect on your children and their maturing, however, then it should be avoided.
This advice can also continue into the future as you have a relationship with your estate lawyer. If you ever have questions about your estate plan or wish to make changes, you can continue to get advice from your estate attorney.
You Can Handle Estate Planning Comprehensively
When you think of estate planning, is a will and testament all that comes to mind? If so, you are not alone. It is commonly believed that estate planning is just about writing a will. However, there is so much more to it than that. An estate plan is a set of legal documents that can prepare for your death or disability. While a will is, of course, important, it is just one of those documents. There are six documents every estate plan should include:
- Estate plan questionnaire
- Health care power of attorney
- Financial power of attorney
- Disposition of personal property
- Disposition of final remains
You Can Plan for Complex Situations
Life is messy. There are deviations from the “standard” all the time, and DIY books for estate planning are most likely focused on the simple standard. Next thing you know, you are trying to do your estate planning with the help of lackluster books after a recent divorce or when you have children under the age of 18. It is not easy, but an expert in estate law can certainly be of assistance. Here are some complex family or financial situations that may apply:
- You recently married
- You recently divorced
- You married later in life
- You are in a second marriage
- You do not have children
- You have young children
- You have a family member who is disabled
- You wish to provide for a non-family member
- You wish to provide for a pet
- You recently lost a spouse or family member
- You wish to disinherit someone
- You are worried your will or trust will be challenged
- You own real estate in more than one state
- You have a taxable estate
- You wish to leave your estate to charity
- You are a business owner
- You have significant assets in your IRA or 401(k)
A complex situation is no match for an experienced estate lawyer. Make sure your estate planning is done exactly as you would like it to be by working with John R. Foley, P.C. in Dearborn today.
You Can Save Money
It may seem counterintuitive that working with a lawyer for estate planning could save you money, but that is the truth! Because you are far less likely to make mistakes or not comply with state laws, you will save money in the long run — even if it may be an upfront investment. Fees, court costs, and taxes add up, so working on estate planning with a lawyer instead will lend itself to a greater long-term advantage economically.
You Can Save Time and Energy
Why waste your time and energy exhaustively researching estate planning and trying to comply with Michigan’s laws? This takes time and energy away from your job, family, and friends. Many people, when thinking about doing estate planning themselves, think it is something they could complete in a single afternoon. On the contrary, you could spend an entire afternoon simply researching what you could include or mistakes to avoid! You can save a large amount of time and energy by working with an estate lawyer from the start.
Get Started With Estate Planning in Dearborn Today
Probate law, asset management, writing a will, property division, and more is easier when you have someone on your side who is experienced in estate law. Here in Dearborn, this means working with the lawyers at John R. Foley, P.C. Our estate lawyers are qualified, experienced, compassionate, and understanding. Contact our law firm today to meet with a lawyer and get started with estate planning in Dearborn.