An overview of the role and responsibilities of estate planning attorneys informs us of the vital and crucial role that they play in the dispersal of an estate. They help the estate owner protect his or her loved ones in the advent of passing as well as to help the power of attorney properly execute the wishes of the deceased.
Their first and most important role is to listen to and ensure that the will maker’s wishes are fulfilled. Good attorneys will build a seamless transition process around the decedents wishes. Estate planning attorneys must prepare documents, keep clients informed, mediate and minimize taxes. These three elements of the job make them essential to the planning process.
Necessary documents will include wills, trusts, deeds and titles. Documents such as deeds and titles will come from the client but need to be kept and managed by the attorney. Wills and other legal documents will be provided by the attorney. Although there are templates available for those seeking samples of a will, estate planning attorneys will provide the most appropriate and protective will for a particular circumstance.
Attorneys should assist in preparing and executing a will, establishing power of attorney and deed transfers. They will also help to acquire and manage crucial documents that come from other professionals involved in the estate planning process.
Taxes, Remainders and Other Cost-Specific Items
A remainder is an item that helps the owner maintain ownership and leave it to the offspring without burdening them with estate taxes. These attorneys also help manage accounts so that beneficiaries do not default on taxes or pay unnecessary taxes.
The Mediation Element
Qualified mediation is extremely important to the estate dispersal stage of the planning process. Often times, decedents will have done the minimum in drawing clear lines for awards to beneficiaries. Proper mediation will provide interpretive services to help with proper division.
Unsettled disputes will only grow worse when two parties are determined to “win” a tug-of-war for items. Estate planning attorneys are most helpful in the case in which the decedents espoused multiple partners, spawned blended families, or included a non-relative or estranged family member in the will.
Professionals are trained to devise strategies that ease confrontational elements and help all parties come to an agreeable conclusion. Estate owners can hire attorneys to help avoid family conflicts.
In most cases, an estate planning attorney cannot be replaced with trust mills, web-based document preparation firms or a knowledgeable paralegal. The level of skill needed to help navigate the estate planning process requires a high-level professional. And, the highest level of professional will be the estate planning attorney.