It is a common misconception that estate planning is important for only those with money or who are advanced in age. This myth is a cruel deception. In most states, if you own property over $30,000 your children or family could be subject to probate. By investing the time now to plan your estate you could possibly save your loved ones months if not years of agony and literally thousands of dollars in court fees and/or estate taxes.
Can I use the internet to prepare the necessary documents?
The problem with relying on the internet in the estate planning, probate, and estate and trust settlement context is that each and every situation is unique. Couple this with the unique laws of all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and there is only a very slim chance that you will find the exact answer to your specific legal question in cyberspace.
I know that this is not the advice you want to hear - you just want a simple answer to your simple question, right? Unfortunately there are never really any simple answers when it comes to legal advice - yes, that's what you're asking for, free legal advice. Even the most basic question will require the legal expertise of an estate planning attorney who has knowledge of the laws of your state or the state where you own real estate, or the laws of the state where your loved one died or owned real estate. And no attorney I know is willing to just give away legal advice without a valid attorney-client relationship in place.
By having an attorney write your Will, you can choose what happens with and where your property goes. You choose the person who will be in charge of distributing your estate. Your Will can be as simple or as complex as you wish. People who decide they want an easy and simple plan will be assured that the drafting of the documents will be a short and easy process that will also make sure their last wishes are followed. For some, a more complicated Will is desired. These people will have the peace of mind that their wishes are being carried out to the letter. The key is planning while you are still able to do so. Young and older people alike should plan for the future and the ONLY way to make sure your wishes are carried out is by MAKING A WILL.
Items to Ponder Before Visiting Banks Law Firm, Your Estate Planning Attorney
You do not have to gather very much information or documentation in order for us to begin the process. If you have children, it is very important that you discuss with your spouse and family who would be the best guardians for your child(ren), if the children are minors. In most cases if we have a husband/wife combination wanting wills written the spouse is the person who will be the guardian of the children. But one does have to take into account the possibility of both parents leaving the family at the same time or one dying and the other being incapacitated. With that being said, based on the conversation you have with your family, you would then choose a guardian, one you trust to raise your child as their own and treat them the way you would want them treated.
At this point, after choosing a guardian, your next decision would be to choose who would manage the money for your minor children until they are able to make those decisions on their own. This trustee as they are commonly referred would manage the money in a trust account and would release money to the children for things such as college tuition and other living expenses. You may decide to choose the same person for this job that you chose for the guardianship. If this is the case, the person has personal knowledge of the day to day expenses the child(ren) have.
The final person you will select will be the executor of your estate. This is the person who will make final decisions regarding your estate and handle all of the disbursements of assets and pay any debts that are owed.
Yet another item to think about would be what are commonly called secondary guardians, trustees etc. This way, if for some reason your primary person cannot or will not partake in his/her assigned duties, you have a second option already in place. You always want to have a contingent plan when developing your estate plan.