No one likes to think about having to leave this mortal coil, but it happens to all of us eventually, and when it happens to you, you likely want to be able to go knowing that your family is provided for. Estate planning is an important step you can take now to make sure that your final wishes are carried out when the time comes. While it's possible to put together a basic will on your own, there are a variety of different reasons why you might want some professional help. Here's why hiring an estate planning attorney is a good idea.
Your Life May Not Fit Into an Online Template
Do a quick internet search and you'll likely find a bunch of free online templates designed to help someone create a will or last testament. But the truth is, these free templates are not a great fit for everyone. Not all of your assets may fit into the blanks provided, and if it feels like you are trying to shoehorn your personal situation into a generic template, chances are good that you might be making a mistake that could end up having consequences. A seasoned estate lawyer will construct your will or other documents from scratch, making sure that every asset is taken into account and that every last wish is spelled out in detail.
Figure Out Options to Reduce Taxes
Do you fear your estate may go into probate or end up having to deal with a large tax bill when the time comes? A good estate planning attorney can help you plan things out now so that your family isn't dealing with a nightmare situation later. You could, for example, give out gifts to people right now without them having to pay taxes on it, up to a certain amount allowed by the IRS. You could also name beneficiaries for specific assets in a way that will reduce the chances of probate tearing your estate apart.
A Neutral Observer to Step Up for You When You No Longer Can
If you anticipate that the aftermath of your death could be messy due to family or business disputes, it's important to hire a lawyer now and get your wishes in writing. Your lawyer could also act as the head of the estate after your death if that's what you desire. Having a neutral party outside the family step in to resolve things could keep things from getting out of control.