Situations that Require an Estate Planning Lawyer
When considering the need for an estate planning attorney, contemplate this – estate planning should be thought of as a very serious professional service. All it takes is a single mistake or a simple missing signature on your estate planning documents for your family’s life to turned upside-down in the blink of an eye.
We’ve outlined several life situations below that may persuade you to go out and hire a qualified estate planning attorney.
State Laws Rule Any Estate Plan
Washington and Idaho State laws are both quite specific regarding what can and can’t be contained within your will, trust, or medical or financial power of attorney; as well as who may or may not serve as your representative, trustee, health care surrogate or attorney. This may even include who can and can’t be a witness to a will, trust, or medical or financial power of attorney; in addition to any further legal formalities which must be observed during the process of signing a will, trust, or medical or financial power of attorney.
Lawyers across the country have reported many instances where a person tried to designate a friend or attorney from out of state as the personal representative. In some states – any non-resident (or non-relatives) are simply unable to serve. Working with an experienced estate planning attorney will help you avoid what could be a simple yet costly mistake.
Buyers Should Beware of DIY Estate Planning, With Good Reason
We’d caution anyone against saving a few dollars by using a generic “one-size-fits-all” form you found on the internet or in a do-it-yourself book, as you could very well be setting your family up for a rude awakening when they learn that part or all of your will, trust, or medical or financial power of attorney isn’t legally valid or won’t work as you’d anticipated! To make things worse, thousands of dollars will likely then be spent by your loved ones working with the estate planning attorney that you should have hired the first time around to resolve any lingering estate issues.
Estate Lawyers Can Help You Sort Out Complex Financial & Medical Situations
Take a deep look at your life and your assets to see if you fit into one or more of the following categories:
- You have minor children
- You recently lost a spouse or other family member
- You have problem children
- You have substantial assets in 401(k)s and/or IRAs
- You were recently divorced
- You have a taxable estate for Federal or State estate tax purposes
- You own real estate in more than one state
- You own one or more businesses
- You have a disabled family member
- You’re in a second (or later) marriage
- You don’t have any children
- You want to leave some or all of your estate to charity
If any of the situations above apply to your family, we highly recommend that you seek out the wisdom and guidance of an experienced estate planning lawyer to create your estate planning documents. Don’t risk the prospect of having the State Department of Revenue (and/or the IRS) receive a large portion of your estate. Call 509-328-2150 today if you have questions or would like to get started on your own estate plan!