Whether you realize it or not, you have spent almost your entire life acquiring an estate. Regardless of whether it is big or small, it includes your savings, checking, and any investment accounts you may have, as well as any and all property you own. This includes both immoveable and moveable property. Moveable property is anything you own, from a mobile home, furniture, paintings, a car, a coin collection, to your clothing. However, if you own your home, that is considered Immovable property. It is also referred to as real property which is land and any permanent structures built on that land, including homes and barns.
An estate lawyer helps and guides people in order to help them choose the best options for maintaining their assets in case of incapacity or after death. Those in this field need to fully understand your desires and goals as it relates to your possessions in order to suggest ways to achieve those wishes through a last will and testament.
It is imperative that you have a will because if you do not put down in writing where you want every single bit of your estate to go, a court will do so for you. In addition, they will then charge your heirs a great deal of money, which could run into the thousands of dollars for the service. Moreover, it will also take considerable more time to divvy up your assets than if you leave a will.
However, estate planning does not begin and end with a last will and testament as an attorney specializing in this field can also draft living trusts, develop a plan to mitigate or avoid estate taxes, and work to ensure that your life’s savings and belongings are safe from both your creditors and those of your beneficiaries after your death.
If there are children involved in the distribution of your assets, then you need an alternative to a will. You need to create a trust. With a trust, all of your assets are placed into an account, and you then appoint a trustee, a person whom you trust, to disburse the funds when appropriate. This is a good idea because then the property is disbursed when the children reach a certain age, rather than when they are too young to properly handle it.
Moreover, an estate lawyer can also prepare powers of attorney as well as health care directives that arrange for someone to take care of your affairs in the event you become unable to do so on your own. He or she can also help you avoid guardianship or conservatorship issues.
Finally, your estate lawyer can also help with probate. Probate is a legal process that has to go through the courts when a person passes away. It allows the estate to be divided as you wished, as written in your will or trust.
Bear in mind that these professionals are not just for those getting on in years. Young people should have wills and trusts drawn up because no one ever knows when their last day will be.