October is National Estate Planning Awareness Month

If you missed August’s National Make a Will Month, don’t worry! The creators of our national holidays clearly understand the importance of having an estate plan and are giving you another reminder in October with National Estate Planning Awareness Month.

To celebrate this month, we are discussing the top 5 reasons to hire an attorney to draft your estate plan.

  1. All components of your estate assets are addressed. Working with an attorney will ensure that all aspects of your estate are addressed and that your plan clearly directs how assets are to be distributed upon your death in the manner that you intend. Some of the considerations that go into this planning include: identifying your beneficiaries, determining how you want your property distributed, including businesses and joint property, and implementing strategies to protect your property from creditors.
  • Your estate plan is legally binding. This is one of the most important aspects of estate planning, and the one that almost always goes wrong with “do it yourself” online templates and legal services. Templates and online sites often fail to incorporate correct and current laws, use question and answer forms that cannot catch and address every individual’s circumstance, and often do not provide clear rules for how to legally execute the documents, leaving them invalid. Hiring a local, licensed attorney will help ensure all aspects of your plan are legally sound and binding to help avoid any future legal discrepancies or challenges.
  • Family dynamics are considered. Every family is different, and because of that, every estate plan is different. Family dynamics and the impact that certain planning decisions can have on those dynamics are an important consideration when crafting your plan. Experienced estate planning attorneys know this, and they can help assist you in creating an organized plan to fit your unique family situation, including addressing special needs for minor children.
  • The tax burden on loved ones can be reduced. An estate planning attorney’s understanding of the most recent estate laws can assist you in planning for and reducing the tax burden your beneficiaries may face when inheriting your assets. Experienced estate planning attorneys also often work with CPAs and financial advisors to craft a cohesive strategy to plan for potential tax implications.
  • Your plan is more than one document. In addition to your will or trust, there are other documents you need for addressing your financial and medical decisions in the event of incapacity to ensure that you have an all-encompassing plan. An estate planning attorney will help you create these documents as part of your planning process so that your needs are met no matter what circumstances may occur in the future.

Take time this month to celebrate National Estate Planning Awareness Month and discuss your needs with the team of experienced estate planning professionals at Thrash, Carroll & Vanway Law Group.