If you’ve looked at hiring an estate planning lawyer in Orange County, you might start to wonder if this service is worth the price. There are a variety of tools available to help people handle legal matters on their own; why would this be any different? Of course, there may be some areas where you are comfortable going at it alone, but you might not know the risk you are taking.
Making a mistake in the wrong place could invalidate your entire estate plan, which means more stress for your loved ones in probate court. Errors might also result in your wishes not being fully fulfilled after you’re gone. Before you decide to try it on your own, here are a few things you should consider regarding an estate attorney.
Things To Consider When Hiring an Estate Planning Attorney
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
It’s not difficult to find sample wills online. You might even have a friend who would let you borrow one as an example. Writing a will, however, is more than filling in a few blanks on a template. Most people don’t have financial and family situations that fit neatly into the same box as everyone else’s. When you attempt to customize even a single provision, you run the risk of making a mistake. It’s often better to have a professional write the entire document from scratch to make sure it fits your exact needs.
There are several ways to avoid putting your estate through probate and estate taxes. These methods are all a bit complicated. An experienced estate lawyer will know about gifts, death beneficiaries, and trusts. You may be able to find templates for different kinds of trusts, but you will also find they are a bit more challenging than they seem. A mistake here could invalidate your trust and cost your beneficiary a large portion of the inheritance in taxes and probate costs.
Staying up to date
Probate and estate laws change every year. While you could purchase the newest edition of your state’s Probate Code each year, you might find it hard to understand. For example, some states are now considering giving estate executors access to the deceased person’s email and social media accounts. Your lawyer will keep up on the newest laws and trends to make sure your wishes are maintained.
Even if you have an air-tight plan in place, you may need to update it once in a while. Anything that changes could require updating your plan: bringing home a new baby acquiring a new property, or taking on a new investment, for example. One of the last things on your mind when you move is if your estate plan is current and correct. Your attorney will not only keep up with the newest laws, but will also keep up with you to ensure that your plan changes as your life changes; as needed or required.
Tips for Estate Planning
While it may be tempting to look for a one-size-fits-all template for your estate plan, you’ll quickly find that one size does not fit all. Your unique situation requires the attention of an experienced professional. Even a simple mistake can result in extra challenges and costs for your loved ones. Your hard work deserves the proper protection and confidence that only an experienced, specialized estate planning attorney in Orange County can deliver.