What Questions Do You Have About Estate Planning?
Creating an estate plan can feel confusing. There are so many tiny details that probably never even occurred to you before you sat down to address them. At Paris Law, LLC, you can ask any questions you have to founding attorney Scott Paris. He has nearly 20 years of experience working with clients throughout the North Ridgeville metro area on their estate plans.
Here, he has taken a moment to respond to some of the questions he hears most often.
Why is it important for a lawyer to help me write my will?
There are plenty of do-it-yourself options for wills on the internet. But there are many ways in which you could draft or format your will that might cause it to be contested or ruled invalid. Estate planning documents created by an attorney are far more likely to withstand a legal challenge.
How can estate planning help me avoid probate?
Probate is the process by which the court distributes the assets and pays the taxes and debts of a deceased person. The court follows the probate statutes of your state to determine how this process will work if you do not have a valid will. Unfortunately, the court does not always distribute assets in the way that you would have chosen yourself. Probate can also lead to unnecessarily high tax penalties.
An estate plan can lessen the need for probate. Your will ensures that your assets pass to the beneficiaries you select. Trusts can protect your assets from taxation. And your family is much less likely to have to endure the tedious process of probate.
What documents are essential to a good estate plan?
Your finances and plans for your assets are unique. With that said, all estate plans should have a:
- Will: This lays out which assets you want to pass to which inheritors.
- Power of attorney: This document grants someone you trust the power to make legal decisions for you if you become incapacitated.
- Health care proxy: With a health care proxy, someone else can make medical decisions if you cannot make them yourself.
- Trust: These legal documents create a fiduciary agreement where a trustee holds assets on behalf of one or more beneficiaries. These assets can often bypass the probate process during estate administration.
You can also add guardianship designations and other documents to tailor your estate plan to your needs.
What is a designated beneficiary, and what does it have to do with estate planning?
In your will, you designate beneficiaries to receive certain pieces of property or assets. This way, you know that your property will go to the right people after you die. It can also prevent infighting among families or challenges from people who want to claim your property after you die.
Other types of accounts – such as your retirement account or checking/savings bank account – can also have a designated beneficiary. These accounts usually are not included in probate cases, because the designation process makes clear your intent related to these assets.
How can I use my estate plan to ensure my special needs child is provided for after my death?
You can designate a guardian to care for your child if you should pass away or become incapacitated. You can also place assets in a special needs trust to provide for your child’s continued care.
More Questions? Ask Them In A Free Consultation.
Scott will happily sit down with you in an approachable environment to answer the rest of your questions about estate planning. To schedule your free complimentary initial consultation, contact his office in Westlake. You can send an email or call 440-252-4025 to reach out to him.