Online services make it easier than ever to draft your own Last Will and Testament, as well as creating other estate planning documents. For some people with simple estates who do not foresee any complications, this is a viable option. However, there is no substitute for the expertise of an experienced probate lawyer. Here are a few reasons why you should consider seeking legal advice as you begin the estate planning process.
Protection from Creditors
If assets pass directly to a spouse or a child, claims from creditors against the spouse or child may need to be satisfied through the inherited assets, if there has been no care taken with estate planning. Conversely, assets placed in a trust for a surviving spouse or a child may be subject to certain protections when the trust is properly drafted. Because the property is held in the name of the trust and not in the name of the beneficiaries themselves, those assets may be protected from creditors so long as they remain in trust.
Much of the estate planning process involves creating a plan to follow in the event that you or a loved one becomes incapacitated. Trusts allow the person named to control assets without the hassle of involving the courts. A durable power of attorney is another document allowing an agent to handle assets on the creator’s behalf, and a health care proxy similarly authorizes a named person to make medical decisions in the event of incapacity. Another important document, a living will, can advise doctors and relatives about vital medical decisions, such as whether the creator would like to receive life-sustaining care.
Advice from an Expert
Estate planning involves a number of important, often emotionally charged decisions. Seeking out an experienced probate lawyer with a proven track record allows your family to benefit from that person’s in-depth knowledge and experience. A professional can help you handle your estate’s assets to avoid complications later on.
A New York probate attorney can guide you in setting up a revocable trust to help a deceased person’s family avoid the financial costs, waiting period, and public nature of the probate process. Assets like real estate, stocks, and other property can be placed into a revocable trust when a Will is being created, letting these holdings avoid probate upon the decedent’s death. Property in the trust will automatically pass to the person named.
Getting Peace of Mind
A professionally created estate plan allows you to proceed without worry. The Last Will and Testament or revocable trust ensures that upon an individual’s death, their assets will be distributed according to his or her wishes. Other important legal documents such as the durable power of attorney, health care proxy, and living will put a plan in place for all possible future outcomes.
Speaking with an estate planning attorney to clarify your needs will ensure that you and your family get the most from your estate plan. Contact Queens probate lawyer Richard Cary Spivack today, and go forward with confidence.