The Role of an Estate Planning Attorney in Drafting Your Will

Jeremy AtwoodEstate Planning

Jeremy Atwood Law

Estate planning is the process of articulating an individual’s preferences for the management of their asset and affairs in the event of their death or incapacitation. 

Comprehensive estate planning includes vital documents such as wills, trusts, health directives, and more. These are typically used to address critical issues like asset distribution and guardianship arrangements for children. 

While embarking on this journey may feel daunting, estate planning attorneys play a crucial role in simplifying the complexities. 

These professionals guide individuals through the intricacies of will drafting, ensuring that their wishes are documented and honored. 

To better understand the significance of an estate planning attorney, let’s delve into the purpose and importance of these experts in the field of estate planning law.

How Can an Estate Planning Lawyer Be Helpful

Hiring an experienced estate planning attorney can help ensure that your legacy is safeguarded. These legal professionals play a pivotal role in carefully drafting a will and tailoring estate planning documents to align with your unique needs and aspirations

The expertise offered by a dedicated estate planning law firm extends beyond mere. It encompasses a thorough estate planning checklist, which covers essential aspects, ensuring your estate plan adapts to evolving circumstances.

An estate planning attorney’s guidance goes beyond the basics, delving into the intricacies of tax strategy. This helps preserve the full value of your estate. Skillful navigation through complexities allows for the avoidance of probate court, streamlining the process for your heirs and beneficiaries.

Furthermore, these attorneys provide valuable insights into diverse areas such as business succession planning and legacy gifting. With a wills and estate planning professional in your corner, you can confidently address evolving wishes while facilitating the seamless transfer of your assets.

What Does an Estate Planning Lawyer Do?

Estate planning attorneys specialize in devising estate plans to meet individual needs. For this, they often collaborate with tax professionals and financial advisors. These legal experts guide clients through various essential tasks, including:

  • Drafting a Will and Estate Planning Documents: They assist in the preparation of wills and other crucial estate planning documents.
  • Identifying Beneficiaries: Clarifying and specifying the rightful recipients of assets and belongings.
  • Establishing Power of Attorney: Crafting limited and/or durable power of attorney (POA) for effective decision-making in designated circumstances.
  • Creating Advanced Healthcare Directives: Developing plans for long-term care and advanced healthcare directives.
  • Selecting Appropriate Trusts: Advising on the best trust type tailored to individual needs.
  • Asset Protection through Trusts: Setting up trusts to safeguard and transfer assets both before and after the individual’s demise.
  • Collaboration with Financial Advisors: Coordinating with financial advisors to strategically reduce estate tax burdens through effective tax planning.
  • Probate Process Avoidance: Identifying strategies to bypass the probate process, streamlining the asset distribution process.

Who Needs an Estate Planning Attorney?

Whether or not you require an estate planning attorney depends on your specific circumstances. Consider the following pointers in your decision-making process:

1. There Are Children in the Picture

If you have minor children or dependents, effective estate planning becomes pivotal. In such cases, a trust, which is a more detailed alternative to a will, is often necessary. This legal instrument ensures that another adult can oversee your assets until the child reaches maturity.

2. State-specific Taxes

Certain states impose their own estate or inheritance taxes, distinct from the federal estate tax. Massachusetts, for instance, taxes assets exceeding $1 million. Homeowners and life insurance policyholders may easily meet this threshold. Consulting an estate planning attorney can help determine the nitty-gritty of your state’s unique tax laws.

3. Legal Navigation Unease

If you’re having trouble grappling with the legal formalities involved in the process, seeking the assistance of an estate planning attorney is advisable. The jargon used in estate planning documents can have nuanced meanings based on circumstances, necessitating professional clarification.

4. Incapacity Risk

Individuals susceptible to incapacity due to chronic health conditions or disabilities can benefit significantly from timely estate planning. An estate planning attorney, particularly specializing in elder or disability law, can aid in creating the necessary documents. These documents will facilitate decision-making on your behalf when you are unable to manage your finances and health independently.

Overall, engaging the expertise of an estate planning attorney can prove invaluable for those seeking peace of mind in the complex realm of estate planning.

Finding the Right Estate Planning Lawyer

When seeking an estate planning attorney, it’s crucial to identify certain key qualities to ensure the right selection for your specific needs. Here are a few factors you should consider to make an informed decision.

  • Area of Expertise: Inquire about the attorney’s primary focus. A clear emphasis on estate planning indicates expertise in this field – and that’s what you want!
  • Services Provided: Assess the full spectrum of services offered by the lawyer you’re considering. For best results, especially in matters related to estate tax, choose an attorney who’s proficient in federal and local tax laws. Ask if they only draft plans or also execute them.
  • Experience and Firm Background: Consider the attorney’s overall experience in the legal sphere. Weigh the benefits of extensive expertise against the affordability of a less experienced lawyer who’s working within a reputable firm. Your comfort level and the complexity of your estate should guide your choice.
  • Fees: Understand the factors influencing fees, such as locality, attorney’s experience, and firm prestige. The complexity of your estate planning matter will also play a role here.
  • Estate Reviews: Inquire about periodic estate reviews, especially if you’re someone with evolving assets or are anticipating life changes. Regular reviews may cost more, but they’ll ensure your plan aligns with your current situation and goals. You may potentially be able to avoid probate court should things go sideways.

Remember, effective communication is paramount in selecting an estate planning attorney. That’s because this fiduciary relationship will involve discussing personal family details, making effective communication essential for collaboration with other professionals within your estate planning team. Look for a professional who listens, communicates clearly, and understands your concerns.

Contact Jeremy Atwood for Dependable Estate Planning Services

As a premier estate planning attorney in Utah, Jeremy Atwood specializes in comprehensive services to address your financial and healthcare concerns. We go beyond mere will drafting – we guide you through the entire estate planning process. 

Leave it to us to ensure your heirlooms, life insurance, and assets are treated as per your wishes. Our team uses a range of estate planning documents, including wills, advance directives, trusts, and powers of attorney to help you take control of your future. Call (801) 682-5234 or complete our online form for a free 15-minute consultation.