Do Estate Planning Attorneys Go To Court?

Do Estate Planning Attorneys Go To Court?

When people think of attorneys, they often picture them in court in front of a judge arguing a case, as we see on TV shows like Law and Order. That’s not necessarily true for all attorneys, so, do estate planning attorneys go to court? The short answer is yes; they can. However, the goal of a well-defined estate plan is to avoid having to go to court by having a plan in place and all the supporting legal documents to clearly outline your wishes in the case of your death. This will help avoid costly and time-consuming trips to court to settle your affairs.

What Is An Estate? Do You Have One?

Simply put, an estate is all of your assets, so most people will have some form of an estate no matter how big or small it is. In other words, if you own something or owe something, then you have an estate. Estates include things like:

  • Money in bank accounts
  • Real estate
  • Personal possessions
  • Cars
  • Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investments
  • Businesses
  • Debts and liabilities
  • And more…

Your estate is an overarching way to define your net worth. From a legal perspective, your estate is the sum of all of your assets, minus any liabilities (debts) you may have.

What Do Estate Planning Attorneys Do?

As we mentioned earlier, estate planning attorneys go to court if necessary. But, they also prepare all of the legal documents required as a part of the estate planning process. This includes writing your Will, which defines who will get what when it comes to your assets. If you don’t have a Will in place, the state will decide for you, and those decisions may not align with your wishes. A Will can also be used to determine who you want to have custody of your minor children. Your estate planning attorney can also create a Trust, a legal structure used to help minimize estate taxes and make sure your estate distribution goes smoothly. Trusts are also used to manage assets for minors or people with disabilities who may not be able to manage the finances on their own. Power of Attorney and Health Care Directives are also legal documents your estate planning attorney will create for you. These documents allow you to determine who will make decisions for you regarding legal and health care matters if you are no longer able to make them for yourself.

Do Estate Planning Attorneys Go To Court?

Estate planning is a combination of planning and, if necessary, litigation. By spending some time when you are healthy planning for when you are not or for your death, you can avoid the significant hassle, costs, and confusion that is common when people do not have an estate plan in place. Remember, estate plans can be beneficial no matter how large or small your estate is. Estate plans are designed to ensure your wishes are carried out.

While we are happy to go to court for you, we are much more thrilled to create an estate plan that is well-crafted to honor your wishes and avoid going to court. With our free Personal Family Legal Session and our flat-rate fees, it is much cheaper to create an estate plan than it is to deal with probate court or litigation when your wishes are not clearly outlined.