How Estate Planning Can Protect Yourself And Your Family
Estate planning can protect you and your family by providing you with the best possible options when you are trying to create a will, manage your estate, or handle succession within the family business. There are a few things that you can do when you hire the estate planning attorney, and you must make sure that you have worked through every step in the process. Without an estate plan, your entire estate could be left at the mercy of the state.
When Should You Create A Will?
An estate planning lawyer can help you create a will that will address your assets, your property, and your children. You need to create a will that has been written properly, and your lawyer should keep a copy of this will. The lawyer will make sure that they help your family if the will needs to be executed. Plus, the lawyer can edit your will at any time.
What Should Be Listed In Your Will?
Your will needs to include several different things:
- The division of all your assets
- How your children and spouse will be accommodated
- How your property will be divided
- How you want your funeral to be managed
- Any trusts that you have set up for your children or spouse
- Accommodations for the succession of people within your family business
How Do You Divide Your Assets?
You need to divide your assets in your will so that it is very clear what you want to do. The lawyer will write up all these things to ensure that the will can be executed properly. Plus, you need to make accommodations for all the people in your life who should receive money. You can send money to anyone you want, and you need to ask your lawyer how to exclude people.
If someone has been excluded from the will, you need to specifically state who they are and why. Your lawyer may recommend that you give an absurdly low amount to someone you want to exclude so that they cannot challenge the will.
How Do You Divide Your Property?
You can divide your property in any way that you like. Your spouse will likely get your house, but you can give other pieces of property to your loved ones. All these items will be delivered to the people who have been named in your will, and you can continue to add things to your will when needed. This is the simplest way for you to make sure that you have accommodated all the people in your life.
If you have children, you may ask that certain pieces of property are sold. Those assets can be divided among your children, and they will receive those profits when the sale is completed.
Your Funeral Service
You can state how you want your funeral to be managed. Plus, you need to make sure that you have laid out how all these things will be paid for. You may have insurance that will pay for these services, and you can explain where the funeral should be held. All of your final wishes can be listed in the will, and you can even explain where your body should be buried, where your ashes should be spread, or how you want to be handled after you die.
Succession Within The Family Business
You can manage succession within the family business, and you should work with your lawyer to explain how succession should be managed. You need to make sure that you have outlined what will happen when you die, and you may need to explain who is to run the company. Most companies have people who will want to ascend to the top, and that is why you need to explain who should run the company.
You may also make accommodations for your estate to pay for legal expenses if someone tries to challenge your will. There are times when shareholders or members of the board of directors might want to challenge your will. You need to pay for these legal fees upfront, and you can send that money somewhere else if there are no challenges.
Who Executes The Will?
The lawyer that you work with will execute the will for you, and they will help your family manage your estate after you die. Your lawyer can set up escrow accounts to manage your money, and you can set up a simple system that helps your lawyer disperse funds as needed. Plus, you can ask the lawyer to bring in an administrator who will handle most of these things on your behalf.
You may want a family member to be your administrator, or you might have chosen a close friend. Plus, you need to make sure that you have changed your lawyer if your lawyer retires. This is why you should name more than one administrator or executor.
The lawyer will have witnesses in their office that will sign the document you complete. However, those witnesses need to be found if your will needs to be probated after you die. You must keep track of the witnesses as much as possible. Plus, you need to know that the lawyer will forward all this information to someone else if they choose to retire and stop representing you.
When you are looking for a lawyer who can help you write your will, you need to consider all the information above. Each item ensures that you have covered everything before you die. You need to build a complete document that can be used to manage your estate. Plus, you need to make sure that you have talked to the lawyer about how to word certain parts of the document. Your lawyer will keep a copy of this document, or they will forward this document to a new attorney if they retire or you wish to retain new representation.