4 Reasons to Hire an Estate Planning Lawyer
Everybody needs an estate plan! In today’s internet culture, it’s very tempting to try to write your own. Because Phelps LaClair, serving Chandler, Mesa, Phoenix and Scottsdale has been in business for 40 years, we know how challenging it can be to write an estate plan. There are many things you can learn through YouTube and Google—but writing a thorough estate plan that will actually hold up in court is not one of them. Here are four reasons you need to hire an estate planning lawyer:
DIY wills don’t work well
Google is great for finding out why your cat may not like dry cat food. YouTube is excellent in showing you how to change a tire or even build a bookcase. But when it comes to reliable, accurate legal advice, that’s a different story. If you take advice from strangers on the internet, how can you be sure your effort will hold up in probate court? Is that a risk you are willing for your family to take? DIY wills are not bulletproof. But don’t just take our word for it—take a look at Aretha Franklin’s children.
You need an estate plan, not just a will
There are four essential documents every estate plan must have (five if you have minor children).
- A will or trust. Who gets your stuff when you die? When and how do they get it?
- A guardian for minor children. You need to name someone to care for your kids in case both you and your spouse are deceased.
- A medical power of attorney. If you become incapacitated, who will take care of you? Who will make medical or end of life decisions for you?
- A financial power of attorney. Like a medical power of attorney, you need to name a trustee who can take care of your financial affairs if you are unable to do so.
- Disposal of remains. Do you wish to be buried or cremated? Or perhaps you want to donate your body to science? A qualified estate planning attorney will be able to write the best plan for you.
Save time, energy and money
Crafting an estate plan is a hard, thorough process that takes considerable time. It takes an understanding of federal and state laws, IRS regulations, the various levels of the court systems, and how to deal with major life changes. It can be an exhausting, emotional burden if you try to do it on your own. There are financial instruments that can save your beneficiaries a significant amount of money. An experienced estate planner can show you how.
You may know what you want to do with your estate, but do you know what you really need in order for your wishes to be put in place? An objective partner is invaluable in helping you see the essentials while planning for the best outcomes. For instance, what is the best way to go about setting up a college fund for your children’s education? How mature are your children? Will they be able to handle a large inheritance? A wise estate planner can show you how to protect them from harming themselves if they receive a windfall. Finally, an estate planning attorney can help you to anticipate and navigate major life changes such as births and deaths, marriage and divorce, career and location changes.
Phelps LaClair has been helping families like yours in the Phoenix Valley to find security in knowing that their estate will pass on to their heirs with every one of their wishes fulfilled. It is an art and a science for an estate planning lawyer to design a great estate plan. Come in for a free first consultation with no obligation. Let us give you peace of mind knowing that you have a solid, thorough estate plan!
Images used under creative commons license (Commerical Use) 11/5/2019 Photo by Sarah Pflug from Burst