4 Important Issues To Discuss With An Estate Planning Attorney

A simple will that you download off the internet might not be the best idea when it comes to planning for your estate. In many cases it will not cover enough of the small issues you need to deal with. And if you have a complicated estate, you don't want to risk that the simple will you get does not protect your assets from unnecessary probate costs, or worse. So, here are four issues that you need to take into account and speak with a estate planner about.

Legally Airtight The Will

A good will is the foundation of your estate planning. A lawyer will be able to construct a will that will protect your assets from distant relatives who come out of the woodwork to try and take money from your immediate family. The lawyer will also be able to write it in such a way that it holds up to any scrutiny by the state. You don't want a flimsy document to end up in a delayed probate or state litigation, so avoid these traps that happen when you try to use a boilerplate will for complicated issues.

Trust Considerations

In this context trust is a legal concept, not the idea of "who do you trust". You might want your estate planner to establish a non-revocable trust. These are used so that, in the event you do end up in a nursing home and in need of long-term care, the nursing home and the government cannot seize all of your assets. The trust will take your home, money, and other assets and place them in a trust, and list your spouse or children as the beneficiary. It's important to do this rather quickly as there is a 5 year "look back period" that the government uses, so speak with your estate planer about this issue.

Medical Directives

You also want to make it clear what your decision is regarding any sort of medical issues. The main one here is any consideration about life support. So if you want to have a DNR (do not resuscitate) it needs to be very clearly spelled out in your document. This is where it is crucial that you use a competent estate planner and not try and use some boiler plate form.

Retirement Plans and Pension Beneficiary's

Another issue you need to have your estate planner address is any retirement plan or pension. These are often a bit more complicated than simple assets such as bank accounts and stock. You want the estate planner to determine what sort of paperwork needs to be filed with the pension or retirement account ahead of time , which will often make the process much easier than if everything is done later.

Talk with an attorney like Lynn Jackson Shultz & Lebrun PC for more information.