Most people have little idea how estate planning works. Many Americans have no idea that you are supposed to plan at all. What is estate planning, besides writing a will? Who needs to do this? What is the purpose of planning for your death? Most importantly, do you need to hire an attorney, and if so, what kind? What does an estate planning attorney in Northridge actually do to help you?
The answers to these and other questions you may have about estate planning follow.
Who Should Plan for Their Estate?
Every single individual who is old enough to own assets should have an estate plan and take action on it. This is not a service that only belongs to the wealthy, or those who own businesses or multiple homes. If you have any number of assets stored away, including a savings account, then you need to plan what will happen to these finances in the event of your death. Who will they go to? How can you be sure that your plan will be followed? An attorney will help you with this.
Do You Need a Lawyer?
An estate planning attorney is a legal specialist that knows the particular laws of estates and wills, as well as how these laws apply in your specific state, county, and city of residence. The laws behind estates are extremely complex. Many people speculate that the government makes these laws so complicated that the average person without legal training cannot understand them—and does it on purpose. Without an estate plan, the majority of what you own will go to taxes.
How Will a Lawyer Help You?
A lawyer understands how to maneuver these legal complexities so that your loved ones gain ownership of what you currently own after you pass away. An estate attorney will do the following:
- Help you create important estate planning documents, including a will
- Help you understand power of attorney and who to elect in your family to hold this role
- Guide you through important tax laws as they apply to your estate and help minimize taxes
- Inform you of the consequences of making certain estate planning decisions
- Assist you with writing important statements that are clear and concise, to prevent confusion among your loved ones or mistakes with your assets
- Help you minimize court fees and other miscellaneous costs
- Prevent ex-spouses or other unwanted individuals from becoming owners of your estate
- Counsel you as you decide which beneficiaries to list in your estate documents
- Be available to discuss any changes or adjustments you would like to make, as well as how to allocate any new assets you obtain
How Do You Get Started?
If you are unsure how to begin planning your estate, do not be concerned. The majority of Americans would not know how to begin. Simply find an estate planning attorney in Northridge who can help you get any important documents together, start discussing with your family members, and begin planning what to do with what you own after you die.
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