Life is so filled with the pressing concerns involved in living, some people can tend to ignore the need to plan for after their death. It is important, at least, to be clear on what the consequences of this will be. Your family will be left with the difficult job of dividing up your property as they imagine you would see fit, or as they themselves see fit, and it is well-known that such situations can lead to unpleasant disputes among family members.
In order to help you avoid these kinds of conflicts, there is something in society called an estate planning attorney. Thus you should know where you can find a trust and estate planning attorney near me. This helpful individual is the one who, on consulting with you, will be able to settle your financial affairs exactly as you want. He is not just any lawyer. It is true that a general law practitioner deals with the power of attorney and wills. But an estate planning attorney, as opposed to a will and trust attorney, has special know-how. He has, not only theoretical but also first-hand experiential knowledge about estate and inheritance law. He has the skills to analyze your particular financial situation, take your personal goals into account, and advise you how to effectively reach them.
Imagine how preferable it would be for your loved ones, on your passing, to find a clearly organized estate, without any basis for arguments. ‘Where are a trust and estate planning attorney near me?’ might sound like a strange question asked by other people, but maybe it is one you should be asking.
In addition to the above, consider the following. Do you have a large estate, consisting of many assets which may be subject to taxation? If so, you particularly have good reason to inquire, ‘Where are a trust and estate planning attorney near me?’ In order to maximize your property to the full extent of the law, you will definitely need to be in contact with an estate planning law firm.
Do you want to create a trust, for example, allowing your spouse to live in your house until he or she passes away, which will thereafter go to your children? Maybe you want to set up long-term care for a beneficiary? Again, these important tasks should go to the address of an estate planning attorney and thus the need to find a trust and estate planning attorney near me.
Other common situations in which this kind of lawyer is an expert at assisting you to include these. You are expecting somebody will contest your will. You would like to disinherit your spouse. Or you have an ownership stake in a business. These all represent real-life situations you might find yourself in, but if you do not plan them to turn out as you desire, the chances are they would not. It is better not to be apathetic about this important issue, since the results of your management of it are so real and drastic. You should aggressively inquire, ‘Where is there a good trust and estate planning attorney near me?’ Turn to somebody who has been through the legal ins and outs of these matters a thousand times. He will cover all your bases for you so that the distribution of your property will be performed precisely as you wish.
Is there, in fact, a good trust and estate planning attorney near me?
Yes, they’re very likely is. If you live in a major city, you should not have trouble finding a good estate planning attorney. Austin, Texas, for example, boasts a big array of experienced attorneys of this type. Many cities in California are well supplied with them, as are many areas of New York State, and the list would go on. But the question you must consider now is, ‘Of the options available, which is the right trust and estate planning attorney near me?’
Know your needs.
Your needs are specific, so you must be selective. It goes without saying that you should not be guided by grand promises you read on law firms’ websites. Even if a law firm is an expert in this area, you need to remember what your own purposes are and then find out who can best fill them. Start with friends and family members. Have they had personal experience working with these attorneys? Maybe they have or know someone who has. Then ask any lawyers you know, even if they work in a different field. Their acquaintance with real expertise in the field is better than the Layman’s. And they would not just name a random name, since their own reputation might be compromised. You probably would not have to range far and wide to find one, so ask all the lawyers you know the same question, ‘Where is there a good trust and estate planning attorney near me?’
What if it doesn’t work out?
What if these avenues do not work out? Contact your local bar association and tell them, ‘I’m looking for a good trust and estate planning attorney near me.’ They offer free lawyer referral services, and you’ll pay a reduced rate for your first half-hour of the consultation. Another tool at your disposal is the Martindale-Hubbell database, which you can use to search for a law firm by practice type, and in which you can find peer rankings. These methods of navigation should precede simply browsing the telephone directory, the internet, or magazines.
Trust and estate planning attorney near me – How do I know if this is the attorney I’m looking for?
This is a good question to ask yourself. You need to be deliberate here, and not simply agree to employ the first attorney you interview. Interview several lawyers and be patient about it. Ask each one of them your pre-planned questions. Do they charge by the hour? Is there a set fee for writing a will? Does the attorney ask to receive a percentage of the total estate value?
Equally important is, how much experience does the attorney have? Has he worked with a case similar to yours before? What were the outcomes of such cases? Before your meeting begins, ask the attorney what the purpose of your first discussion will be. What, exactly, is the goal of the interaction?
And then, when you have met the lawyer, consider if he offered you a clear plan of action or not. Did he sound confident and well-grounded, or vague and hesitant? Ask him what happens if you want to make changes to your plan at some point in the future? And something of underrated significance to ponder is this. How does the lawyer make you feel? Does he inspire confidence in you, so that you would feel comfortable sharing very personal information with him? Remember, this is also a personal relationship you are entering into with him. You should feel positive and natural about speaking openly in his presence. So, once you have found a trust and estate planning attorney near me, make sure he is ‘a trust an estate planning attorney near me, that is, one with whom you feel a good rapport.
When the relationship has started.
Once you have agreed to employ an estate planning attorney, you still need to stay on top of your relationship with him. It would not do to leave things to him after one or two preliminary consultations. This is a common mistake people make, and it can cause great disappointment at later dates. Legal documents need to be regularly reviewed because your needs, attitudes, and feelings change with time. Your estate planning attorney should present you with his plan for regularly reviewing your documents together with you.
One reason these meetings are important is that, if not for them, certain documents might grow out-of-date without your realizing it. This has happened in many cases and unfortunately can result in the estate plan failing.
Ensure that your attorney offers you continual guidance without charging an hourly fee. He should also have enough breadth of knowledge to be able to advise you on taxes, finance organization, buying insurance, and retirement planning. All this is implied in the ‘good’ in your inquiry, ‘Where is there a good trust and estate planning attorney near me.’ If he is a quality practitioner of the law, he should provide you with these kinds of advice.
Trust and estate planning attorney near me – Is there a difference between an estate planning attorney and an estate probate lawyer?
An estate probate lawyer steps in after death, rather than before. He will represent the executor of the will and the heirs in court and facilitate the legal process. If conflict over the estate arises, the probate lawyer will advise the estate’s executor how best to handle the situation.
A probate lawyer is needed in the situation where the deceased did not execute a will or set up a trust. It is his job to extricate the deceased’s assets and pay that man’s debts from his estate. He will also be able to help if family members contest a will.
The estate planning attorney does his work of organization and preparation before the death of the estate owner. ‘How can I find the most appropriate trust and estate planning attorney near me?’, should then, perhaps, be the first question you ask. Do all you can to ensure sound financial planning while you are still alive, and this will ease the road for the property distribution you desire after your death.
What does a trust litigation attorney do? When there are legal disputes between beneficiaries and trustees over trust assets and distributions, a trust litigation attorney is able to settle these. Beneficiaries may feel that a trustee is mismanaging a trust, and this could lead to their losing their rightful inheritance. Let’s say the trustee seems to have breached the trust laid in him and acted in his own personal interest with regard to the funds. Or, alternatively, you will find at times that beneficiaries would like to contest whether the estate owner was mentally cognizant at the time he signed the trust, or would like to argue that he was manipulated. A trust litigation attorney can assist in these difficult situations. This brings us to the subjects of how a living trust works and its reason for being.
Why would somebody create a living trust?
A living trust attorney can help you create a legal document that gives a trustee of your choice the responsibility of managing your assets. This might be desirable because it allows for the easy transfer of assets without their owner having to worry about the expensive legal process of probate.
The trustee owns the assets and the property that flow into the trust. He can be granted this power irrevocably or revocably. This arrangement suits some people very well because it allows their money to reach their beneficiaries directly, without having to go through the courts. The trust administration attorney should also be able to advise you about the legal implications of property transfers. If these services are down your alley, phone your local bar association and ask, ‘Where is there a living trust attorney near me?’. Make contact and start your screening process.
What are the benefits of a special needs trust?
Special Needs Law refers to the legality behind the care for the needs of children with disabilities or other special circumstances. A special needs attorney establishes a trustee who administers the trust’s funds on the special beneficiary’s behalf. This attorney can help you create a Life Care Plan for a person with special needs, taking care of their life progress from childhood to adulthood.
When the attorney has enabled a trustee to hold the funds in a trust for the special needs person, these funds are not counted when the individual seeks to qualify for special programs like Medicaid. The individual’s eligibility for this kind of assistance will, therefore, not be compromised. If you are someone who bears the responsibility of caring for a special needs person, you should inquire of acquaintances, friends, and the bar association, ‘Where is a good special needs trust lawyer near me?’, and arrange a consultation.
If your need is to consult with someone who knows about tax exemptions, change your question to, ‘Where is there a property tax attorney near me?’ This breed of lawyer is often consulted by office building owners, nonprofits, owners of industrial facilities, big-box retailers, educational institutions, and religious and Government organizations.
You will also come across attorneys who claim to specialize in business succession planning. A business succession planning attorney can be quite a helpful person for you if you are a business owner who is planning to retire or would like to provide for the eventuality of your death or the possibility of a disability. You will want your business to fall into the proper hands. This is not quite so simple to achieve and can be quite legally convoluted at times, which is why there is a specialization in the field.
To reiterate our main points, make sure you do a thorough investigation of the local practitioners of the brand of law you are seeking out. Before this, you must establish clarity in what in fact that brand of law is. Hopefully, this article offered you some guidance in doing that effectively. People should inquire, ‘Where are a wills and trusts attorney near me?,’ if their goal is to create a straightforward type of will with none of the abovementioned complications.
But if any of the special circumstances mentioned apply to you, do not make the mistake of consulting a general practitioner. The skills and experience he lacks could make a big difference for you, and indeed the difference between an estate plan that fails or succeeds. Make your search, among your friends and search engines, for ‘an estate planning attorney near me.’ A free consultation is sometimes offered, so look out for this. Even if you are in doubt whether or not you need one, why not consult with an estate planning attorney in order to make sure?
In most cases, there will be enough estate planning attorneys near me to do a full survey before deciding. Do follow your heart and remember, ‘a trust and estate planning near me’ can be a trust and estate planning attorney near me.’