The Vastness of the Law

The Role Of Estate Planning Attorneys: Key Areas Of Assistance

Estate planning is an essential process that helps individuals establish clear instructions for the management and distribution of their assets upon their passing. By working with an estate planning attorney, you can ensure that your loved ones are taken care of and your final wishes are respected. Here's what they can assist with. 

Wills and Testamentary Trusts

One of the primary roles of an estate planning attorney is to help clients draft a will, which is a legal document that outlines how an individual's assets are to be distributed after their death. Attorneys can provide guidance on selecting beneficiaries, appointing an executor, and specifying the distribution of various assets. They can also assist in establishing testamentary trusts within a will, which are trusts created upon the death of the testator to manage assets on behalf of the beneficiaries.

Revocable Living Trusts

Estate planning attorneys can also help clients set up revocable living trusts, which offer several benefits, such as avoiding probate, providing for incapacity, and maintaining privacy. A revocable living trust is a legal entity that holds and manages assets during the grantor's lifetime and distributes those assets to beneficiaries after the grantor's death. A knowledgeable attorney can help clients create a trust, transfer assets into the trust, and appoint a trustee to manage the trust's assets.

Advance Directives and Powers of Attorney

Another key area of assistance provided by estate planning attorneys is the preparation of advance directives and powers of attorney. Advance directives, such as living wills and healthcare proxies, allow individuals to express their preferences for medical treatment and appoint a trusted person to make medical decisions on their behalf should they become incapacitated. Powers of attorney, on the other hand, grant a designated individual the authority to make financial and legal decisions on behalf of the grantor. Attorneys can help clients understand the implications of these documents and draft them according to the client's specific wishes and circumstances.

Estate and Gift Tax Planning

Estate planning attorneys offer valuable guidance on estate and gift tax planning, helping clients minimize the tax liabilities that may arise from the transfer of their assets. They're familiar with the nuances of lifetime gifting, charitable giving, and other types of giving.

Guardianship and Conservatorship

In cases where an individual has minor children or dependents with special needs, an estate planning attorney can assist in establishing guardianship or conservatorship arrangements. Arrangements ensure that a trusted individual is appointed to care for and make decisions on behalf of the minor children or dependents in the event of the grantor's incapacity or death. 

Contact a local estate planning lawyer to learn more.