What Does an Estate Trust and Probate Planning Attorney Do?
Working with an estate planning lawyer is an important topic to think about regardless of your age or health status. At our estate planning law office, we work with individuals and families who need to plan for their future.
Do you have a plan for what happens to your property after you pass away? This is a leading reason to search “estate planning attorney near me.” When you find an experienced lawyer to help with will estate planning and more, you’ll get the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ve protected your interests and your family.
What is estate planning?
If something happens to you to render you unable to make a decision in the short term, your family could be left grappling with this difficult situation. If you were to pass away unexpectedly, your loved ones would also have to sort through all your belongings and assets. Without an estate plan, you can accidentally leave your family members coping with these challenges.
An estate plan helps you name the key people you want to play a role in the management of your affairs while you’re still alive but incapacitated and when you pass away. From a beneficiary to a trustee to a power of attorney agent, your estate planning lawyer helps you document all these plans so that your chosen people can take action quickly.
Your estate plan is your set of intentions for what happens to you or your belongings, and it should be created with the help of a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer.
What does an estate planning attorney do?
Writing a letter about what you want to happen to your belongings doesn’t go far enough to protect your interests and your family members. You should also document and protect your future goals by creating strategies with your estate planning lawyer.
Your estate planning attorney sits down with you to determine what’s most important to you and then helps you articulate that in legally valid documents. Together, these documents make up your estate plan.
Aside from helping you with this initial strategy, your estate planning lawyer also helps you adjust your estate plan as life circumstances change or as laws call for new tactics.
What can a will do?
As the cornerstone of your estate plan, your will is an important document you can use to name a guardian for your minor children and to state what you want to happen to your property. For someone with a relatively simple estate, a will might be all you need. However, a will also becomes a matter of public record, which is why many people prefer to work with an estate planning lawyer to create a trust instead.
When your estate is managed with basic Michigan probate forms and a will, it can be administered relatively quickly through the courts so long as there are no will challenges. Your estate executor should know where to find the will so that they can file it as quickly as possible.
What can a trust do?
For those who want advanced estate planning needs, working with a will and trust attorney to create a basic will as well as to open a trust is recommended. There are two primary types of trusts to consider: a living trust and an irrevocable trust. An irrevocable trust provides more protection but cannot be changed once created. A living trust provides less protection but still adds a layer of privacy to your estate planning. That trust can be updated or dissolved over the course of your lifetime, when you as the creator retain the opportunity to manage it, too. Once you pass away, a successor trustee manages it.
Since there are many trusts to choose from, you want to sit down with a Michigan estate planning lawyer to talk through your personal goals and concerns. This will help you decide how to proceed with your estate planning strategy.
Why do I need an estate planning lawyer?
There are risks to do-it-yourself estate planning. The biggest is that you can make a mistake that makes things much more difficult for your loved ones. By the time they discover it, there’s no way for you to fix it. These mistakes can invalidate your will or lead to a lengthy probate. When you create your estate planning documents, your goal is probably to make things as easy as possible for your loved ones during this time of grief.
By working with a dedicated estate planning lawyer, you get the peace of mind that someone who knows the lay of the land and is working to help you accomplish your personal goals is on your side. You know that you’ll be covering all your bases when it comes to planning for things like power of attorney documents to name someone to make decisions for you if you become unable to do so.
You need a comprehensive estate plan that considers all your most important needs and aligns them with the necessary documents to support you going forward. Talk to an experienced estate planning attorney today to learn more.
Our office is here to help you when it’s time to create a plan. Call us today to schedule a consultation with our team.