Baldwin County Estate Planning Attorney
While times may be good now, there may come a point in the future where you may be unable to make your wishes known.
Being older is not a requirement for needing an estate plan. Your plan should be in place to deal with any contingencies, including those that arise when you are still relatively young.
The key is having something written in place and executed, ready for your family when they need it.
At a later age, you may be unable to work on executing an estate plan. Your cognitive abilities begin to decline, and you may be unable to sign a legal document because you will lack capacity.
The Perils of Not Having an Estate Plan
Actions that a court might take if you do not have an estate plan in place include:
- Appointing a guardian to make all of your legal decisions
- Deciding disputes between family members over assets and decision-making
None of these are in your family’s best interest.
Instead, you can invest time and effort now into drafting a comprehensive estate plan. Then, you will periodically review the estate plan from time to time to ensure that it still meets your needs.
What Estate Plans Do for Your Family
Estate plans may do the following for your family:
- Provide for the distribution of assets to heirs through a will
- Preserve and protect property for beneficiaries through a trust
- Designate individuals to hold power of attorney to make decisions (including financial and healthcare) for you when you no longer can
- Designate beneficiaries on accounts that do not need to go through probate
- State who will raise your children and how they are to be raised
- Make plans for charitable giving per your values and wishes
- Help your family plan to minimize potential tax burdens
Estate plans require much forethought. It would help if you considered the needs of family members and the position that they may be in once you pass.
In some sense, your estate plan is the last way that you can take care of your family after a lifetime of caring for them. It is better to make the choices on your own now when these decisions reflect your wishes than to have a court make them based on the law and the judge’s opinion.
We understand that the last conversation you may want to have is about what happens when you either decline or die.
It is a natural human instinct to avoid discussions of your mortality. However, engaging in this exact conversation is crucial, both now and in the future.
How an Estate Planning Attorney Helps You
The law allows you to formalize a will that will be a binding expression of your wishes for your property and minor children.
Alabama law also designates a legal process to handle the disposition of your estate, which can be challenging and tricky. You should plan ahead of time for probate.
An experienced estate planning attorney will help your family by pointing out and explaining various options that may be available to you. They will assist you in devising an estate plan that meets the needs of the people it serves (your family).
Then, they will work with you to execute the necessary documents. The last thing you want is your estate plan not to be valid or effective because you made a mistake on a critical document.
How Our Firm Can Help You
Our lawyers work with you in the following areas:
- Elder law
- Medicaid asset protection trust
- Asset protection
- Special needs planning
- Estate administration
Contact a Baldwin County Estate Planning Attorney Today
The most important call you can make when it comes to estate planning is the one to an attorney who begins the entire process.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Brenton C. McWilliams work with you and your family to understand your particular situation and help you devise the most effective plan for it.
We are available to handle all of your estate planning and elder law needs.
To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today.
FAQs About Baldwin County Estate Planning
How do I find the right estate planning attorney for my family?
It would help if you spoke with prospective attorneys to learn how they may help you. One of the best ways to find an experienced attorney is through a referral from family or friends who have worked with them before.
What happens if I die without a will?
Alabama law will determine who inherits your property. Your wishes will not matter.
Does my estate have to go through probate?
Most estates will go through probate. However, trusts do not need to go through the process because the trust continues after you die.