Whether someone accumulates a substantial amount of wealth or lives a simple life, there are usually assets left behind after death. Although assets are of no value to the deceased, they can be highly valuable to the loved ones that the deceased leaves behind. Developing an estate plan is the most ideal way to ensure that assets are managed in a specific way after you pass away, especially if your assets are valuable. An estate plan is also useful before death because it legally outlines how you would like your assets and other aspects of your life managed if you become incapacitated. Planning your estate can be done without legal assistance, but hiring an attorney is in your best interest for several reasons.
1. Know What to Put in Your Estate Plan
Without knowledge of estate planning, you might not consider everything that is important if you do not hire an attorney. You might only consider what happens to your assets after death, but situations could arise in which you need someone to make decisions on your behalf as well. For example, you can become incapacitated due to developing a health condition or simply growing old and losing the ability to take care of yourself. An attorney will help you appoint someone that you trust to manage your personal needs and estate in such a situation. They will also inform you of anything else that will be wise to include in your estate plan to ensure that all aspects of your life are covered legally.
2. Make Sure Your Estate Plan is Worded Properly
Although an estate plan is legally binding whether you hire an attorney or not, making the plan on your own could be a mistake. The reason is that if the plan is worded confusingly, it could cause conflict between your loved ones. For example, if you do not make it clear how your assets should be distributed upon death, your loved ones might argue and have to battle the situation out in court. An attorney will ensure that the content in your estate plan is worded properly to make the probate process easier.
3. Easily Amend Your Estate Plan
As your life goes on, situations might change that make certain aspects of your estate plan irrelevant. For example, if you appoint someone as the executor of your estate but they pass away, that aspect of your plan will no longer be valid. Hiring an attorney will make it easy to amend the estate plan as it is needed. You can give the attorney a call or meet with them in person and the plan will be changed per your request.
For more information, contact a local estate lawyer.