Hiring a family trust attorney to draft your wills and create your estate plan will ensure that your family has the highest level of protection in the event of your incapacitation or death. A good estate plan starts by answering these 2 questions: who is going to make decisions for me when I can’t, and who receives all my money and property when I die.
Properly drafted and executed documents like a living will, health care power of attorney and general power of attorney will prevent your family from going to court and having a judge decide who will make medical and financial decisions for you if you become incapacitated. These documents allow you to control who will make these decisions for you if you can’t.
Likewise, a properly drafted and executed last will and testament will direct who receives all your money and property when you die, although your family will probably still need to go through the probate process before your assets are distributed out to your family. Any family beginning a probate after the death of a loved one should expect to spend somewhere between $2,500 and $5,000 or more on legal fees and court costs, and should expect the probate to take anywhere from 9 to 18 months before the probate is closed.
Creating and properly funding a living trust can avoid the probate process altogether. You name a trustee to manage the assets of the trust after your death and the trust directs who gets what and when they get it. There are a number of factors that affect the drafting of a trust and these should be discussed with an estate lawyer who understands how to put down on paper exactly what you want.
Our estate planning attorneys at the IBC Law Firm provide quality service that can help you wade through all the factors that apply to your family and make sure that the trust is properly drafted and executed.