Before we know what an estate planning attorney does, we need first to understand estate law. From the word itself, you already have an idea the law entails something to do with property. It is a part of the law that relates to people’s property.
The law is used to plan for a person’s property and finances. This can be when they are alive or when they get deceased. The property is referred to as an estate. So, what is an estate? In simple terms, an estate is your net worth. It represents your total assets like a piece of land, cars, businesses, shares, and investments. To get the net worth, add assets and deduct liabilities.
When someone gets deceased, there may be conflicts during the inheritance of the property left behind. Conflicts can arise among siblings, relatives, and friends who may have joint ownership of the estate with the deceased. That is when an estate planning law firm comes in to provide solutions and help solve the conflict. This post will see how a state planning attorney can help you resolve disputes related to estate planning.
What options are there in estate planning law?
Getting an estate planning attorney educates the conflicting parties of the legal options available to them. According to the law, there are many options depending on the situation and wishes of the client or deceased.
Wills are legal documents that state who owns the property of the deceased. Before someone dies, they can draft a will with the help of a lawyer and state what they want to happen to their property when they pass away.
Every person can decide what they want to happen to their property. It’s their sole decision to do what they want. They can give up property for charity to a friend or family member.
Conflicts arise when there is no will specifying what should be inherited by who or when a family disputes the content of the will and deems it unfair. When there is no will, the situation is known as dying intestate. An estate planning attorney can help you object to a will if you feel it is unfair, mediate with other members or offer legal counsel.
When you cannot make decisions because of physical or mental problems, that calls for you to have a guardian. A lawyer can help you become a legal guardian if your parent, friend, or sibling cannot make decisions independently. Decisions made by guardians are binding and recognized by law.
Another option is having trust. A trust is a legal document giving temporary hold of property on behalf of another. Trust is usually popular when an aging person has a young child and wants to give them property but only when they attain a certain age, like 21 years.
The estate will be available only when the person attains the age of 21. Such scenarios happen to minimize wastage of the estate or ensure that the person inheriting the property is mature enough to take care of the estate.
Advance directive and powers of attorney
In some situations, the client may not be able to make rational decisions. When this happens, the client may decide to use powers of attorney and issue an advance directive that permits someone else to make decisions on their behalf.
Advance directives make you think ahead of time and help you choose who will make the medical decision when the time comes if you cannot make decisions. The decisions can be like managing personal finances, hiring and firing on their behalf, or during life saving situations where one needs to decide what doctors need to do and sign on their behalf.
Property inheritance is a susceptible area. To avoid family conflicts and have a smooth process during the sharing of an estate, it is wise to have legal counsel from an estate planning law firm.
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