No matter how scary the idea of a future where you aren’t around might be, there is probably no adult who hasn’t thought about their own death. Considering that it is an approaching reality for us all, it often crosses people’s minds. If not the finality of life, then the possibility of experiencing a situation where you aren’t able to practice your rights as a decision-maker for yourself can be equally alarming.
The thought is even scarier when you’ve managed to push through hard work and build a sizeable estate and/ or have loved ones who are dependent on you. Questions about their financial security, the responsibility of making decisions in their place, and their survival in this world become present concerns.
The amount of wealth someone has managed to accumulate doesn’t matter. Whether someone has an estate worth millions or they have a family home, cars or some land, preparing for death or a situation where you’re unable to make financial decisions affects all.
If you have found some semblance of relatability in this dialogue, then it may be time to hire an estate planning lawyer and get your affairs in order.
Case against DIY estate planning
Before we move ahead and get into the nitty-gritty of why it’s necessary, it’s important to know that there is a strong case against DIY-ing your estate plan. Whether you’re looking to set up a living trust or draft a last will and testament document, nothing can replace the expertise an estate planning lawyer offers.
Using cookie-cutter forms and looking for advice on unreliable forums is not enough to ensure that your last will and testament will stand strong in court. Probate is already a long, arduous process that a poorly drafted will makes even more complicated.
Furthermore, you can easily get confused with the legal jargon that comes with estate planning. Documents and forms might have terms and phrases with ambiguous meanings that change depending on your circumstances.
Additional problems with state and federal tax laws, deficiencies, and biases can also become a bump in the road of developing a fortified estate plan.
To prove our point further, let’s delve a little deeper into the reasons you need to hire an estate planning lawyer to draft up your will or set up a trust.
It’s simply not easy – Irreplaceable expertise and experience
The irony of this statement is not lost on those who are aware of the nuances of estate planning. Drafting a will by scribbling on a random piece of paper and signing it seems like all there is to it, but this is far from true.
Estate planning in Nebraska, much like the remaining 49 states, is governed by the state. Laws and agencies defining them vary between states with each laying down very specific legal requirements.
From choosing a financial power of attorney, healthcare proxy, executors or trustee to formalities governing witnesses during the signing of the will or trust document, there are many laws with which to comply.
Properly stated dispositions are another reason why it’s important to have an estate planning lawyer draft your will. Testamentary intent that clearly indicates how you want to dispose of the assets after your death is critical as it can impact the validity of your will.
In addition, the laws and rules regulating estate planning are changing constantly.
It’s an estate planning lawyer’s job to not just be aware of estate planning laws, but also keep up with any changes or amendments the state makes to them. From the basics of setting up a trust to integrating instructions regarding your end-of-life decisions, they’ll ensure compliance.
They can resolve complicated situations
Complications in family or financial situations are not uncommon. Estate planning lawyers are trained to find solutions for these instances.
One of the most common issues in estate planning is the primary’s marital status. Divorce, the death of a partner, an ex-spouse getting remarried, or getting married yourself all change how you need to approach your estate plan. An estate planning attorney will figure out what you need to adjust your estate plan accordingly.
Other family situations that require the expertise of an estate planning lawyer includes the primary having:
- Minor children;
- No children;
- Children but they are estranged or they want to cut them out;
- Beneficiaries with disability or they specifically want to set up a special needs trust;
- No beneficiaries and wanting to leave some or the entirety of their estate to charity;
- Lost a beneficiary other than their spouse.
Similarly, financial situations such as having sizeable assets in the form of an IRA or 401(k), owning taxable estate, or owning property in other states or countries require special considerations in your estate plan.
More than legal aid
Estate planning lawyers hold a depth of expertise that goes beyond simply creating and filing your documents. From correct use of precatory jargon to providing unbiased counsel on important subjects like choosing a guardian for minor children, they make a difficult process easier to execute.
Secondly, having a lawyer take care of legalities throughout the estate planning process saves you time and energy. Instead of dedicating your time to conduct never-ending research and making sense of laws, you can focus on defining the intent of your estate plan.
Your estate plan, whether it’s a rather simple will or multiple trusts, holds a lot of value. It determines you and your family’s financial stability in a situation where you’re incapacitated or pass on.
At Welch Law Firm, you have access to Omaha estate planning lawyers who specialize in creating effective plans that avoid unnecessary complications at the time of execution.
Call us today to discuss your estate planning needs and secure your family’s future.