Estate planning is not only as simple as putting your signature on a piece of paper to outline your final wishes after you are gone. True estate planning can be a complex ordeal and missing language or signatures can throw your estate into the hands of the probate court or completely invalidate your will all together. State Laws concerning estates are very specific and the legal processes which they require must be handled with care and precision as to not interfere with the state laws. In formulating a will you should hire a qualified attorney with estate planning experience to establish wills, trust, and or medical/financial power of attorney.
Failing to hire an estate planning attorney or hire a qualified attorney to plan your estate could be the biggest mistake of your life – or at least the mistake your family members will remember you by. Self-drawn up estate plans and work by questionable legal counsel will only lead to user error due to the fact that these individuals may not be knowledgeable about every single detail of the law. Some of the largest and most common mistakes made concern who can serve as a personal representative, who can witness a will, how to alter a will, how to officially sign a will. Any of these mistakes within a will can cost you your final wishes and your family members a lot of time and effort to un-wrinkle complications. Many individuals feel that they may be saving money in completing a simple legal task by filing for a will by using self-instructions, online- instructions, legal tutorials etc., but in reality they may in fact be costing their family members significantly more money by trying to correct all of the flaws created by a questionable or non-legally binding document.
How Do I Know if I Need to Hire An Estate Planning Attorney?
To put matters simply if you feel that you need to create a will then you need to hire an estate planning attorney. A qualified estate planning attorney can help resolve complex financial or family situations and their expertise and experience in the field of estate planning can help you in developing and filing appropriate documents in accordance to your final wishes. A last will called into question concerning an estate can lead to the estate being examined by the probate court, the state department of revenue, and the IRS- which will all receive significant monetary revenue from the estate.
If you are still unsure on whether or not you need to hire an attorney to aid you in your estate planning then a good rule of thumb is that if any of the following conditions apply to you then you should consult with an estate planning attorney:
• You have minor children.
• You have high parent child conflict/ problem children.
• You do not have any children to accept an inheritance.
• You were recently divorced.
• You have been married multiple times.
• You recently lost a spouse.
• You recently lost a family member/ beneficiary
• You have a disabled family member.
• You want to leave a portion or all of your estate to charity.
• You maintain substantial assets in retirement plans 401 (k)’s or IRA’s.
• You have a taxable estate (federal/state).
• You own real estate in multiple states and or multiple homes/ property.
• You own multiple businesses.
If you have any concerns regarding your estate, will, trust, or power of attorney then please contact the Coleman Legal Group to aid in your estate planning.