Why You Need An Estate Planning Attorney
To the average person, Estate Planning may conjure up visions of millionaires and billionaires with vast assets to protect upon their death.
However, that is not the case. Most people who have retirement savings and property are in need of estate planning and asset protection in order to preserve assets for heirs. A simple last will and testament frequently is not enough to ensure that one’s assets will be readily available to distribute to benefactors.
One of the most common reasons for seeking the services of an estate planning attorney is to avoid probate.
One of the main drawbacks of a regular will is the cost of probating it or passing it through the courts. While many people don’t know exactly what probate is, they do know it is unpleasant and something to be avoided. Let me explain. Probate is the court-supervised process of authenticating a last will and testament if the deceased made one. It includes locating and determining the value of the decedent’s assets, paying his final bills and taxes, then distributing the remainder of the estate to his rightful heirs or beneficiaries.
In probate, there are court fees taken from the amount of the entire estate before the debts are paid out. This fee can often be as high as ten percent of the total estate which often is better used paying trustee fees and burial costs.
While there are other reasons to establish an estate plan with an estate planning attorney, avoiding probate is the number one reason.
Reducing taxes is another.
Through the most basic estate planning, it’s possible to significantly reduce or eliminate estate taxes. In addition there are advanced estate planning techniques that can make estate or inheritance tax bills either less burdensome or go away completely.