It is easy to put off creating a will and other estate planning tools such as health care directives, powers of attorney and trusts. Also, it is easy to select an online provider to create the documents – but neither of these is your best option. There are five outstanding reasons to hire an estate planning attorney now to create your estate plan and the related documents.
- Your will and other important documents will be created by an experienced professional. Think about those fill-in-the-blank documents that you find online. They are not much more than a type of form letter. When you hire an attorney, you can rest assured that the documents are customized to your specific goals and wishes. Your attorney will help you with any important steps that many people struggle with, such as selecting an executor or arranging guardianship for minor children. To be official, your documents must be witnessed and notarized, and your attorney will arrange this for you.
- Your estate plan will comply with laws in your state. Laws regarding probate and trust differ from state to state, and they do change over time. Your experienced estate planning attorney knows your state laws and stays current with changes. This offers you peace of mind that your documents are in compliance with your state.
- Your documents will express your exact wishes in the correct legal language. It should be no surprise that the correct legal language for estate documents can be confusing. Those who take a DIY approach to wills and other documents do not know for sure if their documents truly state what they intend them to state. And when will any errors be discovered? After your death, most likely, when the documents cannot be corrected. On the other hand, your attorney will thoroughly discuss your goals and wishes to clarify them. Your estate planning attorney already knows the correct legal language to express your wishes and ensure the documents accurately reflect those wishes.
- Keep your estate plan up-to-date. A proper estate plan looks years ahead to the end of your life, and it cannot predict every change or change-of-heart that might occur. These should be living documents that are revisited at appropriate times and altered as your goals and wishes might change. Your attorney will provide a thorough review and can advise you about what changes would be best and in what form the changes should be made. This presents the possibility of a codicil or amendment versus a new estate plan. Your attorney will guide you in a way that no DIY provider can do.
- Someone you and your family can trust. When you have a relationship with an estate attorney, you have a trusted resource who can answer your questions. Most importantly, your attorney is someone your family can turn to, should you become incapacitated, or after you have passed away. While your loved ones might be upset and grieving, your estate planning attorney is someone to guide them through estate settlement.
An estate planning attorney is far more than a provider of services. He or she is a professional who is prepared to “go the distance” at your side. Don’t delay the important task of creating your estate plan. Schedule a consultation with an estate planning attorney who will give you peace of mind.