While it isn’t something anybody wants to think about we all have to plan for our loved ones after we are gone. Nobody likes to think about their own mortality least of all when you are still young but if you have children or assets then you need to plan ahead or someone else will be making those decisions for you. You might think that you can handle all of this on your own but the truth is, you need to get a lawyer to help you plan your estate and here’s why.
Each state is different when it comes to who can have your medical or financial power of attorney, along with who can be named in a trust or will. Each state also have specific paperwork that needs to be filled out and what works in California may not work in New York. Some state require that they executor or personal representative needs to be related to you when they sign documents for you. These are just some of the peculiarities that can be found in estate law in different states.
Doing it Yourself
There are a bunch of different site like LegalZoom with do it yourself documents that make it seem like an attorney isn’t needed at all. That isn’t actually the case, and you find out down the road that the Power of Attorney is invalid. Your family may be left spending thousands of dollars trying to adhere to your wishes. DIY forms are pretty generic and may not offer what you need for your situation while an attorney can make sure that your wishes are made clear. Which bring us to the next point.
Planning your estate isn’t always simple and it gets more complicated if you have assets, minor children or you have been divorced and remarried. Do you want to leave some of your money to charity or own foreign property, then you definitely need an attorney putting a will together for you. If you are a partner in a business then an attorney needs to be involved in planning your estate.
No matter how much research that you do online that doesn’t make you a lawyer and that can end up costing your family a fortune. Not having a will is even worse, your family won’t know how you want your assets disbursed or in the worst case they end up fighting over your estate. Make sure that your family is taken care of in the way that you want by working with an attorney.