As a parent, you’re constantly concerned about the well-being of your children, no matter their age. Naturally, you want to provide for them and ensure their success long after you’re gone. You also want to make sure that your wishes for their care are respected and carried out, particularly in situations where you might not be able to speak for yourself.
Working through these issues can be complex, and that’s where the guidance of an estate planning attorney comes in. Here are five reasons why you might need to get an estate planning attorney.
To protect your children’s future
Estate planning allows you to plan for your children’s care and inheritance as they mature. To be prepared for a potential time when you are no longer able to care for them, you might want to specify how and when they inherit from you. In such cases, an attorney can assist in setting up trusts and managing their inheritance, even if you lack legal expertise.
To ensure your heirs follow your wishes
A properly drafted estate plan, which includes a will and powers of attorney, is a necessity. With the assistance of an attorney, you can ensure your wishes are followed in terms of asset distribution, financial management and health care decisions. You also may need this assistance if you become incapacitated and are unable to make decisions for yourself.
To avoid probate
Probate can be a lengthy and costly process. An estate planning attorney can help you set up your estate in a way that avoids probate. By doing so, they can ensure a faster and more straightforward transfer of assets to your heirs.
To minimize estate taxes
Depending on the size of your estate, it could face significant estate taxes. While Virginia does not impose an estate tax, federal estate tax may apply depending on your estate’s value. With the help of an estate planning attorney, you can potentially lower these tax burdens and protect your growing assets for your adult children’s benefit.
To plan for business succession
If you own a business, planning for succession is crucial. An estate planning attorney can guide this process. They can help you create a smooth transition and maintain operations even after your death.
Planning for what happens after you pass away can feel overwhelming, especially if you have children you will leave behind. But with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney by your side, you can navigate this process with practical advice, care and peace of mind.