The term “estate planning” may sound like something just for millionaires but that’s furthest from the truth. Everyone, whether young, old, a student, an athlete, single, married, or a CEO, needs a plan for the future and there are no pre-qualifiers. Simply put, if you are alive, you need an estate plan. Below we’ve outlined what you need to know about estate planning to get started.
Questions to Ponder
Consider this: If I get sick, who will take care of me? If I die, who is going to take care of my stuff? Who is going to get my money? How will my children be cared for? Who’s going to handle my email and online accounts? These are some of the questions that you probably have thought about but haven’t been able to answer.
If you do have answers to these questions, it’s important to make sure those answers are written in a legally sufficient manner, so that your interests are actually accomplished when the time comes. Your estate planning attorney will help you make sure that these questions are answered, according to your wishes, and within the parameters of current estate planning laws.
One Size Does Not Fit All
One of the common things that you may find while searching for a will are “will kits” or other online “tools.” Such tools may seem convenient and quick, but the convenience is deceiving. Will kits are often “one size fits all” which means that if you need something specific in your will, you’re on your own. And even if you have your own will, it may not be enough to save your assets from probate.
A Customized Plan
There are plans for everyone and for every walk of life, whether you are single, divorced, married, etc. If you are single, you will want to make sure you know who is going to take care of you if you get sick or who is going to distribute your assets when you die. If you have children, creating a plan ensures that any minor children of yours are taken care of by people you trust. In addition, you want to ensure that your children are provided for when you are gone. If you are married, you may want to make sure that your spouse is designated as your personal representative, successor trustee, funeral representative, patient advocate, and power of attorney. An attorney can help sort things out specifically for what you need to know about estate planning in your case.
If you die without a trust or a will your entire estate goes public through a process called probate. When you die without a plan, your assets go through your state’s probate court. In probate court, what happens to your assets is determined by the court, not by you or your family. Probate is often difficult to navigate, as there are a lot of steps to complete the process, there are many deadlines, and there a lot of people involved in getting access to your assets. As a result, probate can be a burdening process for your loved ones as it will cost them time, and in most cases a lot of money from inventory and attorney fees. With a plan, your assets will go to the people whom you have intended to receive your assets, without the stress.
Consult with a Qualified Attorney
With all of that said, a good, qualified attorney is necessary to complete your planning process. You want to find an attorney who is qualified specifically in estate planning, or in other words, an attorney who has taken the three year course that is necessary to be certified in estate planning. Attorneys who are not certified with estate planning do not have the expertise to handle your estate planning needs and will cost you your money and your time.
With attorneys at the TGQ Law Firm, you can feel confident you are receiving excellent service.
Call the TGQ Law Firm at 734 (707)-3232 or email at tgqlaw.com to schedule a fifteen minute consultation today. Take a step for your future, invest in an estate plan.