Estate Planning Basics

Understanding Estate Planning,Estate Planning and Taxes, Family Concerns in Estate Planning

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Will Basics, Types of Wills, Lost Wills or No Wills, Changing or Revoking Your Will

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Trust Basics, Setting up a Trust, Trusts as Estate Planning Tools, Tax Liability

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Probate Process, Avoiding Probate, Executor / Administrator, Taxes and Creditors

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Asset Protection

General Questions, Asset Protection

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Living Wills | Power Of Attorney

Living Wills, Power of Attorney, Do Not Resuscitate Orders (DNR), State-Specific Information

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Elder Law

Senior Care, Long Term Care Planning, Guardianship, Retirement, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, Nursing Home Abuse

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Welcome to expert page on the topic of Estate Planning Law.  Estate Planning Law covers many types of ways to facilitate the transfer and management of property after death through the use of legal instruments such as wills, trusts, and other asset protection vehicles.

Estate Planning 101

Estate Law involves planning for the distribution of a person’s finances and personal property both during their lifetime and also upon their death.  A lawyer that is experienced in Estate Planning attempts to protect assets by anticipating and arranging a person’s life in a manner that is managed for the benefit of growing or maintaining assets held by the estate.  The estate planning lawyer sets out to minimize taxes while allowing for distribution in accordance with the intent of his client.  An estate plan is usually intended order to protect minor beneficiaries but also can be implemented to protect adult beneficiaries from outside influences and bad decisions.

Common Estate Planning Tools

There are a multitude of estate planning tolls available to a person.  The most common estate planning tools include a duly executed will, a living trust, a valid health care proxy, a living will, a HIPPA release, life insurance and a executed durable power of attorney.  There are other mechanisms to assist in estate planning, including the shelters that may allow for transfer of assets to heirs with improved tax treatment.  It is important to keep these documents organized and in a place that survivors can locate them upon the death of an individual.  A duly executed will will allow for heirs to manage the assets upon death and take custody and guardianship to care for any minors.  A legally set up trust will allow a person to transfer assets without requiring the heirs to go through probate court which is a very lengthy and costly process.  It is important to speak with an estate planning attorney about executing any other legal documents that are necessary to properly set up the estate.

Hiring An Estate Planning Attorney

There are several ways to locate a qualified estate planning attorney.  It is not uncommon for financial advisors to be familiar with attorneys that practice in the area of estate planning.  An accountant or attorney that practices in some other area of the law may be able to refer an estate planning attorney.  State and local bar associations sometimes have qualified attorneys that they are able to refer and it is also possible to locate an estate planning attorney by checking with the local probate court.  Most estate planning attorneys charge a flat-fee to draft a will or prepare other basic estate planning documents.  The typical price for assisting a client with simple estate planning can be as low as $300 but can quickly escalate to as much as $3,000 or even more depending upon the complexity of the estate.