Not having an estate plan is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to protecting your family members. Unfortunately, far too many people have no plan or they believe a will is enough. This is simply not the case. You need to think ahead to end of life issues and to what will happen if you get sick or hurt. You also need to make sure your wishes are known and your assets are protected when you pass away.
Nehoray and Drake, LLP can offer you the assistance you need to make an estate plan that protects your interests and that protects the people you love. Our legal team knows the ins-and-outs of the estate planning process and works hard to help clients identify and fulfill their estate planning goals. Give us a call to get personalized advice about making your estate plan and to get answers to questions you have about estate planning including:
- Why do I need an estate plan?
- What should be a part of my estate plan?
- How can an estate planning lawyer help?
Why Do I Need an Estate Plan?
There are default laws, called intestacy laws, which determine what happens to a person’s property if that person passes away without a will. Unfortunately, these laws may not be a reflection of what you may truly have wanted to happen to your assets. However, if you have not made an estate plan, no one will know what your wishes are and you will lose the chance to leave the legacy you had hoped to achieve.
If you do not have an estate plan, your family may end up fighting over anything and everything that you owned, from family heirlooms to money you left behind. The court is going to have to sort this out during probate. The process could be expensive and time consuming. The court will appoint a personal representative or estate administrator during probate, and this person may not be someone you would have selected. This person will have unprecedented control over managing your assets and seeing your estate through the probate process.
Even if you have made a simple will on your own, there could be problems. Your assets could be lost due to high nursing home bills or mismanagement if you have been incapacitated by illness or injury and cannot manage them at the end of your life. Your will may not be considered valid if you didn’t follow all formalities under state law, and this could result in fighting and estate litigation.
Your assets could also be put into jeopardy due to the long probate process which must occur before assets are transferred to their new owners. Family members depending upon an inheritance to achieve financial security could be badly hurt financially as they await an inheritance.
These are just a few of the undesirable outcomes that are likely to result if you do not have an estate plan. The estate planning process is aimed at addressing asset protection, protection of your autonomy at the end of your life, and protection for your loved ones. You cannot afford not to engage in a process that addresses all of these important issues.
What Should be a Part of My Estate Plan?
Every person’s estate plan must be tailored to their family situation and goals. This means no two estate plans from different families are ever identical. Your estate planning lawyer will work with you to make a plan that is uniquely yours.
Nehoray and Drake, LLP knows the ins-and-outs of estate planning and we can discuss with you what your plan should accomplish. We can then help you to use a variety of legal tools to achieve your aims, such as:
- Advanced directives
- Powers of attorney
- Pay-on-death accounts
- Inter vivos gifts
- Incorporation or LLC formation
- Insurance policies
- Guardianship plans to declare who should care for minor children
There may also be additional tools that could be used to complete your comprehensive estate plan. The key to making sure your plan provides the necessary and expected protections is to talk with an experienced attorney as soon as possible in making your plans.
How Can an Estate Plan Lawyer Help?
Nehoray and Drake, LLP offers compassionate and knowledgeable legal advice as you work to make your estate plan. Give us a call to speak with an estate planning lawyer who can guide you at every step of the process of using legal tools to make sure your interests are protected and your family is cared for.