What Does an Estate Lawyer Do for You?

What Does an Estate Lawyer Do for You?We are often asked, “What does an estate lawyer do for you?” Well, an estate lawyer’s role is to help you plan and prepare your financial and other affairs in the case of your death or in a situation that you can no longer make decisions and care for yourself. They will help you prepare your Will, Trust, and other legal documents like Power of Attorney and Health Care Power of Attorney. If you are a business owner, they can also help you with succession planning. While not everyone needs to work with an estate lawyer, most people will benefit from having an estate lawyer sit down with you to decide what, if any, help they can provide. If you have a large estate and significant assets, you will almost always benefit from the planning they can provide. However, even if you do not have substantial assets, you will still want to have essential decisions in writing to ensure your wishes for the distribution of your estate, care of minor children, and health care decisions are clearly outlined.

When should you consider working with an estate lawyer?

Everyone has unique and different circumstances when it comes to financial and other situations that may require the help of a professional to plan for situations like your death or severe health crisis. You may want to consider hiring an estate lawyer if you have any of the following situations or more than one of them.

  • You own your own business
  • You have property in multiple states or another country
  • You have minor children
  • You have a modern-day family (such as an unmarried partner, children not from your current spouse, or maybe you care for a friend or family member that isn’t your next of kin)
  • You want to ensure your Health Care Directives are followed if you can no longer make your own decisions
  • You have significant assets and want to leave them to specific family, friends, or charitable organizations
  • You want to avoid conflict and additional taxes and time that would be required if your estate ended up in probate court
  • You have immediate family members with disabilities or special needs

What Does an Estate Lawyer Do for You?

What does an estate lawyer do for you if you have any of these situations or more than one of them? They will help you set up the appropriate legal structure and documents required to ensure that you can seamlessly pass on any of your assets to those you choose at the time of your death. They will also help you determine and document your Health Care Directives. This is important because it legally documents your wishes and appoints a trusted family member or friend to carry out those wishes if you cannot. This includes things like ensuring health care professionals are aware of a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order if that is what you wish to happen in the case of a severe and debilitating health situation.

Even if you are not sure if you should hire an estate lawyer, it will be well worth your time to talk to one to make that determination. They will help you figure out which things you should consider putting in place given your financial and family situation. Our team of experienced estate lawyers at Dana and Associates will guide you through the estate planning process from start to finish. Call today to start your estate plan and make sure you and your loved ones are taken care of.