Estate Planning Attorney
Kentucky and Indiana Estate Planning Attorneys
Are you newly married, growing your family, or recently divorced? Then it is probably time to either update your Will or make changes to an existing Will. Your estate plan prepares for both after your passing and the unknown, later in your lifetime. The estate planning attorneys at O’Bryan Law Offices can prepare a comprehensive plan to carry out your wishes for your family, your future and your financial picture.
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What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is preparing tasks that serve to manage an individual's asset base in the event that they die or become incapacitated. Most estate plans are set up with the help of an experienced estate planning attorney
Who Needs Estate Planning?
There are a variety of reasons why someone decides to meet with an estate planning attorney about his or her future. Those who choose this option typically do so for the following reasons. To
- avoid probate
- reduce estate taxes
- avoid the chaos, wasted time and money associated with failing to do so,
- protect beneficiaries, and
- protect assets.
What is a Probate Attorney?
Estate planning attorneys, otherwise known as estate law attorneys or probate attorneys, are experienced and licensed law professionals who have a thorough understanding of the laws surrounding how your estate will be inventories, valued, dispersed and taxed after your death.
What is the Difference Between Estate Planning and a Will?
Many consider estate planning and wills to be the same. However, estate planning goes further in preparation--outlining your wishes regarding your health, finances, and more, even while you're alive.
What is the Difference Between an Estate and a Trust?
Someone's estate is all of his or her property owned at death. A person can set up a living trust to hold certain of his or her assets, like their house, during their lifetime, and then give those specific assets to others at death.
Assets that are held in the living trust do not go through probate--which is why most choose to set them up.
4 Most Important Estate Planning Documents
While it may leave some feeling uncomfortable, setting up an estate plan in the event of your incapacity or death can help make the process easier on your loved ones, as well as clear up any confusion as to how you want your assets handled.
Having a well-defined estate plan will help give you and your family more peace of mind if a tragedy happens.
Here are the 4 most important estate planning documents:
Having a last will and testament is the first thing that comes to mind when someone considers estate planning. We recommend approaching this as a financial plan, instead of thinking about your death, if this makes you uncomfortable.
You Will identifies the executor, or your personal representative for your estate. This person will be who oversees the distribution of your assets and ensures that your wishes are followed.
Your Will only activates after you pass away. If you pass without a legal Will, the state you reside in has a plan for you. However, in most cases, these plans are not consistent with your intentions.
Your estate plan should also include a report identifying who should make financial decisions for you in the even that you are unable to do so for yourself.
This important document is one that people tend to breeze over or completely neglect.
The person you determine to be your agent will be in charge of managing your assets and making the financial decisions on your behalf. This includes filing tax returns or buying and selling real estate. This should be the person you trust to see your wishes through.
In many cases this document will be springing and requires proof of your incapacity. This creates another roadblock to navigate.
Setting up and Advance medical Directive will help guide doctors and caretakes to make the appropriate decisions if you become terminally ill and cannot make decisions on your own.
By you specifying how and when to proceed with specific treatments, you’ll take the possibility of uncertainty away.
You will also want to include a HIPAA privacy waiver so that your medical agent will have access to all of your medical information.
A Revocable Living Trust addresses the handling of Trust assets in the event of incapacity or passing, without having to go through court.
Depending on the size and scope of your assets, your Will alone may be sufficient. However, if you choose to create a Trust, you’ll need to retitle your assets so that they fall under the Trust, itself.
You can name yourself the trustee or appoint successors to step in, if needed.
When to Hire an Estate Lawyer
You can always plan ahead, but you can’t plan behind, unfortunately. Some situations are more likely to benefit from an estate planning lawyer. Common situations where you may want to consider hiring an estate lawyer include those:
- who own small business
- with out-of-state property or assets
- with foreign property or assets
- planning to bequeath assets to someone who is not a U.S. citizen
- wanting to disinherit immediate family members
- with blended families– who wish to give assets to a stepchild, stepparent, half-sibling, etc.
- who have an immediate family member(s) with special needs or will require a guardian
- receiving Medicare payments on someone else’s behalf
- receiving care through Medicaid
- wishing to set up an irrevocable trust
Contact a Kentucky and Indiana Estate Planning Lawyer
The attorneys at O’Bryan Law Offices, a Kentucky and Indiana based firm have been serving the community for decades–providing quality bankruptcy, divorce, personal injury and estate planning expertise. If you require legal guidance on your estate, contact us at O’Bryan Law Offices. We can help you prepare for the unexpected.