An estate planning attorney helps individuals and families to ensure their assets are properly transferred to their beneficiaries after death. This can include drafting wills and trusts, powers of attorney, advanced health care directives, and other documents designed to meet specific needs and circumstances.
Your plan should be crafted in a way that reduces or eliminates estate taxes and other legal expenses, as well as preserves the value of your assets. It also provides your family with peace of mind knowing that you have made the best possible choices for their future.
The process of assembling an estate plan requires thorough inventorying and analysis of your property, assets and debts. You should also consider your financial goals, potential long-term care needs and any potential issues relating to your estate. A good Chicago estate planning attorney will help you determine what you need to do and how to do it.
A basic plan typically includes a will (also called a last will and testament). This document names an executor, designates who should be the guardian of minor children, states your funeral and burial wishes and states how you would like to distribute your property upon death.
Wills are not the only part of your estate plan; a New York estate planning lawyer will also assist you with drafting other legal documents such as a living trust, healthcare power of attorney, beneficiary designations and a durable power of attorney for finances. These legal documents can be extremely important in ensuring your wishes are carried out.
As part of your estate plan, a Chicago Illinois estate planning lawyer will also help you create a strategy to protect your assets from creditors. This is a very useful strategy in the event that you file bankruptcy or are otherwise in danger of losing your property.
If you want to avoid high estate taxes, it’s important to consult with an experienced attorney who can advise you on how to legally reduce your exposure to these taxes. There are many strategies to use to reduce these taxes.
Revocable living trusts are an increasingly popular estate planning tool. A trust allows you to keep control over your property while distributing it to your beneficiaries in a way that is more manageable and less costly than probate.
A revocable living trust is also an excellent way to protect your assets from creditors. However, the process of putting your property into a trust can be complicated and can require the assistance of a professional attorney to properly complete.
Durable Powers of Attorney
If you become incapacitated, it’s crucial to have a durable power of attorney. A power of attorney appoints someone to act on your behalf, making it possible for them to pay bills, access your bank account, and manage your investments. A durable power of attorney can be as general or detailed as you like, but it’s important to have a knowledgeable attorney draft the document for you.