When Should You Hire an Estate Planning Attorney?

When Should You Hire an Estate Planning Attorney

If you’ve been procrastinating setting up your end-of-life documents, you’re not alone: around 6 in 10 US adults don’t have a will or trust.

It’s safe to say that some of us prefer to avoid thinking about what might happen after we die. Others might believe they don’t have enough assets to divide up with professional help, and others might not be able to put in the time to draw up the documents.

However, how can you tell when it’s time to hire an estate planning attorney? If you’re ready to prepare for future uncertainty, here are a few ways to tell when to take the leap.

When You Want to Save Time and Effort

First and foremost, it’s worth remembering that estate planning attorneys can help you save time and effort.

Unless you have previous professional experience with estate planning, you might find the nuances complex. Doing your research to ensure that you’ve created your own valid and indisputable estate plan can take a great deal of hard work. In addition—as we’ll discuss next—you can’t even be sure that this hard work will pay off.

Working with a professional estate attorney from Atlanta, on the other hand, saves you the headache of researching intricate laws and requirements. It also gives you access to professional insights that can save you the time of weighing difficult decisions.

When You Want to Avoid Mistakes

If you have no professional estate planning experience, it can be a bad idea to take legal matters into your own hands. When you draw up your own estate plan—or, worse, when you fill out a DIY form online—you may find that you’ve missed small details and requirements.

Though these issues may seem minor, they can render your entire document invalid in court. This is why it’s always safer to trust your estate plan to a pro.

When You’re Not Familiar With State Laws

Estate planning law differs from state to state, which can complicate any attempt to write your own estate plan. Furthermore, these state laws change on a constant basis due to requirements from the federal and state government.

Staying on top of the estate planning basics in your area is a full-time job. This is why it’s a good idea to work with a local attorney who knows the local formalities and nuances of the law! If you need an attorney in the state of Maryland, for example, check out more information here.

When You Need Your Plan to Be Indisputable

If you pass away without creating an indisputable and comprehensive estate plan, it can complicate things for your beneficiaries.

Surviving family members may squabble over their opinions about your last wishes, or fight over their inheritance. This can cascade into long-term frustration and conflict for your family as a whole.

To avoid this situation, it’s important for you to assess your assets yourself, laying out your wishes in your estate plan. With your preferences clearly listed, your beneficiaries will understand your directions and won’t have to waste time trying to glean what you might have wanted. Furthermore, because your wishes are clear, you can rest assured that your chosen beneficiaries will be able to draw from your assets.

When You Want to Plan for the Worst

Though most people equate estate planning only with wills and trusts, you can also reach out to an estate planning lawyer for help with incapacity planning. Though most of us prefer not to think about what might happen if we’re unable to make our own decisions, it’s always a good idea to plan for every eventuality.

Incapacity planning includes preparing powers of attorney, advance healthcare directives, a living will, and more. All of these documents can ensure that you have a plan in place to allow a trusted representative to make decisions on your behalf if you can’t do so on your own.

When Your Financial Situation Is Complex

While it’s rarely a good idea to create your own estate plan, it’s even less advisable when your financial situation is complex. In certain circumstances like the ones below, you should always reach out for help from an attorney.

  • You own a business
  • You have gone through a recent divorce
  • Your spouse has recently passed away
  • You have real estate in more than one state
  • You have a great deal of money in one or more retirement accounts
  • You have no children
  • Your children are minors
  • Your beneficiaries have specific health needs

In situations like these, it’s a good idea to rely on the professional advice and expertise of an attorney instead of trying to navigate the documents yourself.

When You Don’t Want to Waste Beneficiaries’ Money

If you’re worried enough to plan for your beneficiaries’ futures, you should also take care to protect them from the consequences of an invalid estate plan.

If the courts find your estate plan invalid, your beneficiaries may end up spending thousands of dollars in professional fees, court costs, and taxes. In addition, there is no guarantee that they will be able to secure the assets that should rightfully belong to them.

To safeguard your estate for the people you love—without risking an extended battle over your estates—the only solution is to set up a plan in advance.

Work With an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney

The decision about when to create your estate plan is a personal one—but doing it as early as possible is always the better choice. Granting yourself and your beneficiaries as much protection as possible is more than worth the time and effort. If you’re ready to safeguard your loved ones’ future, reach out to a local lawyer today!

And make sure to look out for the best lawyers from your area to ensure a smooth process. There are always experienced professionals from each area. You just need to find them and hire them for your case. For instance, if you are from Phoenix city, you can get the best lawyers from Phoenix area estate planning attorneys who would guide you well.

Looking for more of the key guides you need in life? Check out our other posts for additional insights.

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