Hiring an attorney to plan your estate is one of those responsible things you should do as an adult. It doesn't matter if you haven't accumulated a lot of wealth yet. Estate planning is certainly important for protecting your wealth once you're gone, but planning is essential for other reasons, especially when you have children. Here are some aspects of estate planning a lawyer can help you with.
Protecting Your Wealth From Taxes And Creditors
One reason it's so important to have a properly planned estate is so your beneficiaries get the money you intend them to have. If your estate plan is not worded properly and set up in the right way, more of your money can go toward taxes than is necessary. An attorney is well acquainted with tax laws and their frequent changes and can devise a way to protect your wealth from excess taxes in a legal manner.
You may also have a concern about protecting your wealth from creditors. If you have a lot of debt or if one of your heirs struggles with finances and debt, then an attorney can structure your estate to minimize the money that goes to creditors as much as possible. This results in more money going to your heirs as you intend.
Planning For Care Of Children
Another important aspect of estate planning concerns the future of your children. You want to designate who will raise your children if you pass away while they're young. If you don't, the court will decide, and the court's decision might not be in line with what you would want. In the same way, you'll want to plan for the care of adult children you might have that are limited in their ability to handle their financial matters.
If you have a child with drug problems, inheriting a lot of money could be a disaster for them if it fuels their drug habit. An attorney can help you set up trusts that provide your children with money they need for support until they are old enough and responsible enough to manage money for themselves.
Outlining Your Final Wishes
If you have specific wishes for the end of your life, the best way to ensure they are known and followed is to have them outlined in a legal document. For instance, you might have a strong feeling about cremation or about life support in your final days. An attorney can prepare a living will that lets your family and doctors know about your wishes when it comes to medical care. You can also appoint someone to be your power of attorney so they can make medical and financial decisions when you can no longer make them yourself due to your medical state.
Other wishes you may want carried out involve the distribution of your property. You might want to honor individual siblings, cousins, and other family members and friends by leaving them a small part of your estate that you know they would appreciate. This is something you may want to do even if you don't have a lot of wealth. Giving a boat to a friend that loves fishing or an old record collection to a sibling that loves music would mean a lot, and it takes some of the stress off of your family by deciding who gets what before you're gone.
Estate planning gives you peace of mind that your family will be cared for as best possible when you pass away. Estate planning also makes your passing easier on your family since they are not left with difficult decisions and court battles. For more information, contact a local lawyer or visit sites like https://www.linskylaw.com.