What to Ask an Estate Planning Attorney

When an individual has an appointment with the estate planning attorney, What to Ask an Estate Planning Attorney Articles he or she may wonder what to ask. This legal representative is crucial for people with assets that are to be passed on to heirs or charities. If proper documentation hasn’t been signed, sealed and filed, confusion and problems might show up that would cause additional grief for an individual’s relatives and loved ones upon his or her death. No one wants their assets to be argued over, money to be used up in legal fees, probate or court costs or to have items intended for specific loved ones to not be turned over to them. When it comes to wills, trusts and more, a legal eagle will be a planner’s best friend. The following are some questions that you should ask attorneys in houston, texas.

What are some of the documents that should be drawn up?

There are several that are important including wills, trusts, guardianships, medical and financial powers-of-attorney. The ones that are needed will depend on a person’s unique situation.

Will debts of the diseased by passed on to surviving relatives?

Not usually although the rules vary from state to state. If a surviving spouse or other relative is on a loan as a co-borrower, the debt will become his or her responsibility. If not, the debt will have to come out of the estate during a probate procedure.

What is probate?

Probate is something that takes place when a will or other paperwork hasn’t been drawn up. Probate can be a long and stressful endeavor so the more clearly the legal documents outline the distribution of assets, the better.

Is there a specific age that is appropriate for people to draw up wills?

While many individuals think wills and estate plans are only for the elderly, this isn’t the case. Anyone who has dependents or property should definitely have their financial affairs in order.

What do the required documents do in an estate planning attorney’s plan?

  • Will: A will is legal document that lists heirs, property and the distribution of everything. Beneficiaries, executors and such will be documented.
  • Trusts: These must be between 3+ individuals and involve property transfers. A beneficiary, trustee, and owner are the minimum participants. There can be any number of trustees and beneficiaries.
  • Guardianship: If there are dependent children or other relatives that need care, guardianship papers would name the people responsible for the dependents.
  • Powers of attorney: Powers of attorney can be financial or medical. Financial gives over power to a person, usually a spouse, close friend, partner or other trusted individual to sign legal documents should the person not be of sound mind, body or in the vicinity to do so. For medical, a doctor would give power to another trusted person to make medical, health care and end-of-life treatment decisions in the event that the person was incapacitated.

Seeing an estate planning attorney to get one’s affairs in order should be done sooner rather than later. Having a list of questions at the appointment will make it a productive meeting for all concerned.

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