An estate planning lawyer typically assists people with determining the final disposition of their property and assets prior to their passing. This explanation is simplistic, however, and does not describe all the intricacies and tasks that each type of attorney handles.
An estate planning lawyer can help you put your final wishes and preferences into a last will and testament. They can also help you create a comprehensive estate plan that includes many other documents. A probate lawyer will assist family members and named executors in validating and executing a will after a loved one’s passing. If a family member dies intestate, a probate lawyer will help you navigate the complexities of probate court.
Who Needs an Estate Planning Lawyer?
In most states, anyone over the age of 18 can hire an estate planning lawyer to create a basic will and other relevant documents. Many people mistakenly believe a will and estate plan are only needed for wealthy individuals. This is inaccurate.
You may need an estate planning lawyer if you are:
- Concerned about future health care decisions
- Have minor or adult disabled children
- Are part of a blended family
- Are a full or partial business owner
You may also want to consult an estate planning attorney’s team if you want to protect property and assets by creating trust accounts. Another important reason is to avoid squabbles and uncertainty and to give your family peace of mind after your passing.
Last Will and Testament
A will is the basic building block of an estate plan. Your will can:
- Distribute your possessions
- Name guardians for your children
- Avoid having the state disburse your possessions
An estate planning lawyer can help you inventory your assets, choose an executor, and understand the intricacies of making final decisions. They can also ensure your will is stored in a safe location and accessible after your passing
Powers of Attorney
Giving someone your power of attorney gives them the right to make decisions on your behalf. That makes choosing the right person an important part of your estate plan.
Types of powers of attorney include:
- General — Acts on your behalf within the boundaries of the laws of your state in a variety of financial matters
- Limited — Acts on your behalf with certain boundaries and time limitations in effect
- Durable — Makes decisions on your behalf even if you become mentally or physically disabled
- Healthcare — Makes medical and end-of-life decisions when you are no longer able to do so
- Financial — Makes business, tax, and other financial decisions on your behalf
Because a named power of attorney can make decisions for you prior to and after your passing, discussing each of the types of powers of attorney with your lawyer is important. Your lawyer can ensure you understand exactly what power is being relinquished and how you can modify or end the relationship.
To consult with an experienced estate planning lawyer today, call 855-780-9986
Who Needs a Probate Lawyer?
The loss of a loved one is a stressful event and uncertainty about their final wishes can only add to that stress. A probate attorney can be helpful in keeping tempers at bay and avoiding painful and prolonged family disagreements.
You may need the guidance or direction of a probate attorney if:
- Your loved one left a will, and you want to move it through the probate process quickly.
- You believe a will was signed under duress, contains inaccurate information, or is otherwise invalid.
Contesting a will is a complex and often frustrating process. For family and other loved ones, it can also be emotionally charged. Your probate lawyer can help you take an objective view of the situation, explain state law, and clarify possible outcomes.
When a loved one dies intestate — without a will — the probate court steps in and makes final decisions about the disposition of their estate. The state’s process is formulaic in assigning assets to specific relatives.
Without a will involved, the probate process does not account for the decedent’s preferences or for those of surviving family members. It typically excludes non-familial loved ones and charities or other organizations the decedent supported. A probate lawyer can explain the process and any relevant state laws. They will also explain the associated costs and when you might need to enter into probate court litigation.
Contact Our Legal Team Today
At Bogin, Munns & Munns, we work hard to help individuals and families put their legal and financial affairs in order. We make sure you understand the difference between an estate planning lawyer and a probate lawyer and are connected with the right attorney for you.
When you are ready to tackle these difficult legal matters, contact one of our case consultation team members today.