Aspects Of Estate Planning That A Lawyer Can Help With

In Uncategorized by Garrett, Walker, Aycoth & Olson, Attorneys at Law

The title of this blog is bold. Not just in text but also in its importance. Whether you are 28 years old or 83, you never know when your last day on this earth may be approaching, especially if you are an avid participant in life. Being an avid participant in life means walking, driving, biking, working, visiting, and all other aspects of movement and engagement in what life has to offer. You can be involved in a fatal car accident, drown by accident, hit by a vehicle, lose your home, and more. Knowing that your loved ones and your belongings are taken care of can at least provide some comfort and peace if today was in fact your last day on earth. 

Estate planning may seem overwhelming, especially when most of us aren’t exactly sure what it’s all about. However, it’s better to get started sooner rather than later.

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In fact, having an estate plan is a pivotal step in seeing to it that your post-death wishes are followed, and that assets are distributed promptly to your closest loved ones. Because of how daunting the task can seem, it isn’t uncommon for people to hire a lawyer for guidance.

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There are many aspects of estate planning that a lawyer can help with, including: 

  • Listing your assets (tangible and intangible)
  • Names of beneficiaries
  • Paperwork for bank and retirement accounts
  • Gathering deeds, stocks, bonds, etc.
  • Setting up a trust
  • Talking with beneficiaries
  • Gifting money before death
  • Appointing a Power of Attorney (POA)

Establishing a will is the primary component of estate planning. This document goes over how assets are to be distributed after passing away. Unfortunately, many people die before writing a will, meaning that their estate may get caught up in probate court and handled based on state laws. Without a will, an estate will need to go through the court system, when otherwise this could have been prevented by planning ahead of time. 

To avoid an estate from going through probate, there are certain strategies you can implement, such as naming beneficiaries for assets. You may want to discuss with your chosen beneficiaries what to expect in the future so they can ensure your wishes are met after passing on.

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Beneficiaries who feel slighted in what they received, or lack thereof, may file a complaint to the court. This may further prolong the distribution of assets, causing strife for other beneficiaries who are waiting to receive their inheritance.

As an estate planning lawyer, would agree with, the sooner you begin drafting your plans for the future, the better off your assets and beneficiaries will be. If you’re nervous to start, recruiting support from a lawyer can help keep you motivated and on track.