Estate planning can be daunting to think about in itself that the thought of also finding an attorney to help you through the process may seem entirely overwhelming. Knowing the questions to ask an estate planning attorney as you begin your search will not only help you to feel confident in your decision, but will also help you to find someone that you can trust with some of the most important decisions you’ll make for your loved ones. The main purpose of estate planning is to ensure your protection in the event you were to become incapacitated, and also to ensure a smooth transition of your assets once you are gone. You will want to choose someone who looks at the whole picture of your life and will strategize the best ways to ensure your wishes are carried out the way you want them to be. Here are some questions to ask an estate planning attorney as you’re .
How much does an estate plan cost?
This may be the number one question people have when it comes to estate planning is how much does it cost? While the cost of not having a plan is typically higher (and more of a hassle) than not having one, the main answer is that it depends! Your life situation will determine what you need in your estate plan. If you’re single, you may not need as many documents, if you’re married or divorced, there’s typically more to discuss and more documents you will need to protect yourself and your family. If you come across an attorney that charges a set fee for one set of documents, consider continuing your search as you’re most likely getting fill in the blank, cookie cutter documents that may not protect your assets or your loved ones when the time comes.
How does the estate planning process work?
It’s important to get an understanding of how each attorney guides you through the process. Everyone will have a different process so you will want to know what’s expected of you and also the time commitment that goes into creating your plan. You should be comfortable with the amount of time and attention you’ll receive so all of your questions are answered and you thoroughly understand all the aspects of your plan. Another important part of the process is to know how much communication you’ll be offered once your plan is complete. Your estate plan should be continuously updated as your life changes. Some attorneys may charge for any updates or for extra time, or they may not take the initiative to keep in touch with you and ask if you need to update any documents. To learn more about our process at Lexern Law Group, click here.
How do I execute my plan?
Once your plan is created, there may be further actions needed to ensure your plan works when the time comes. If you’ve created a trust-based estate plan, you’ll need to “fund” your trust by titling your assets properly. The funding process may seem tedious, but it is the most important step in completing your estate plan. If your assets aren’t titled properly, then when the time comes your assets may not be disbursed through your trust and instead will be set through the probate process. Some attorneys may give you the option of taking care of the funding process for you, while others don’t. Planning ahead and knowing if you’ll be handling that process yourself will help you prepare to finish your estate planning properly.
Don’t let the process overwhelm you! Finding the right estate planning attorney is the first step in the process and when your choice is made you should have peace of mind that you’ve chosen the right person to guide you through the process. If you’re in Illinois or Wisconsin, we can help you! Learn about how to get started and let us know any questions you have.
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Disclaimer: This article is intended to serve as a general summary of the issues outlined therein. While this article may include general guidance, it is not intended as, nor is a substitute for, qualified legal advice. Your review or receipt of this article by Lexern Law Offices, Ltd. (the “LLG”) or any of its attorneys does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the LLG. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors of the article and does not reflect the opinion of the LLG.