Do You Need an Attorney for Estate Planning?

Estate planning can feel overwhelming. After all, creating a long-term plan based on all of your accrued assets, and planning for where they should go after you pass, can just add stress to the pile.  

Sometimes, bringing an attorney into the picture can alleviate some of the stress and help make estate planning a breeze. Here are five good reasons to work with an estate planning attorney if you're struggling with estate planning. 

An estate planning attorney can simplify the process 

Much of the confusion around estate planning is that it requires many legal documents that are difficult to understand. However, the right attorney can prepare documents, help you understand their purpose, and show you how they fit as part of your broader estate plan. 

Attorneys can help you define your goals 

The overarching purpose of estate planning is to ensure an orderly transfer of your assets and that your wishes are met after you pass away. A qualified estate planning attorney can help you dig into the details. They'll help you make important decisions like: 

  • What you want your legacy to be 
  • The most effective way to manage the estate to minimize taxes 
  • How to fairly divide assets to cover loved ones and charitable organizations 

Estate planning attorneys know what to include in your estate plan 

An attorney can help you develop a checklist that includes all the information you need to pull together for estate planning. They may list things like: 

  • A will 
  • A living will or trust 
  • Beneficiary designations 
  • Healthcare documents, including a medical power of attorney 
  • Guardianship decisions if you have young children 
  • Digital account information 
  • Plans for long-term medical care 
  • Desires for final arrangements, including a funeral or celebration of life 

An estate planning attorney can help implement your financial plan into your estate plan 

Whether you just have investments or you have a range of financial tools that also include a whole life insurance policy or annuity, an estate planning attorney can help you incorporate them into your estate plan. 

Attorneys can hold you accountable for timely updates 

An estate plan isn't just one and done. It needs to be updated as your life situation evolves. An estate planning attorney can hold you accountable for updating your beneficiary designations and reviewing your estate plan regularly, often annually. And that takes some of the pressure off you to remember to update it. 

The bottom line 

An estate plan is one of the most important things you'll do for your loved ones. And that means it may be worth the cost of pulling in an estate planning attorney to help. The right attorney can help you by simplifying the process, defining goals, helping develop a checklist, finding your blind spots, and holding you accountable for timely updates. This extra helping hand makes estate planning less stressful and can ensure you'll have the best plan for your situation and needs. 

Source: iQuanti, Inc.