GALF Austin

What does an estate planning attorney do

An Estate Planning Attorney is an invaluable asset to have when it comes to making sure your family is taken care of. These legal professionals specialize in creating customized plans to manage your estate and protect your assets. Estate planning attorneys know the laws and regulations surrounding wills, trusts, tax planning, and other related matters. They can help you create a plan tailored to your family’s goals and objectives.

An estate planning attorney can be your indispensable guide when handling your assets and planning for the future. They do a lot more than create wills and trusts. From tax planning to helping you keep your estate free from probate court fees, a good estate planning attorney will support you in many ways. Here is a list of just some of the services an estate planning attorney can provide:

  • Create A Plan to Manage a Person’s Assets 

Creating a plan to manage a person’s assets is a challenging task – it can be complex, time-consuming, and often requires the help of a professional. An estate planning attorney can provide invaluable assistance in this endeavor, helping individuals create an effective plan that covers all their financial needs and best protects their assets. An estate planning attorney will start by understanding the individual’s financial status, reviewing their assets and liabilities, and discussing any possible future scenarios that could impact their financial well-being. From there, the estate planning attorney will create a comprehensive plan that considers the individual’s wishes, goals for the future, and the potential for any unexpected changes in their financial situation.

  • Help Protect Assets from Creditors, Taxes, and Probate 

Estate planning can be complex and intimidating, but an experienced estate planning attorney can simplify the process and help protect your assets from creditors, taxes, and probate. Estate planning attorneys provide specialized legal advice to ensure you make the best decisions for your future. They can help you create a plan to pass your assets on to loved ones or charities according to your wishes. An estate planning attorney can help you navigate the legal process of creating a will, setting up trusts, and safeguarding your assets. They can also advise you on how to best prepare for incapacity or death and help you arrange for guardianship of any minor children.

  • Prepare Legal Documents Such as Wills and Trusts 

Estate planning attorneys are invaluable resources for protecting your legacy and the assets you have worked so hard to accumulate. As such, they are experts in preparing various legal documents, such as wills and trusts, which are vital in ensuring that your assets are passed down according to your wishes. In addition, estate planning attorneys can help you create guardianship plans, incapacity plans, and living trust arrangements.

  • Offer Guidance on Guardianship, Long-Term Care, And Nursing Home Planning 

Estate planning attorneys do more than draft wills and trusts. They also offer guardianship, long-term care, and nursing home planning guidance. This is especially important for those with elderly parents or family members who cannot make their own decisions due to age or health. Estate planning attorneys can help families navigate the complicated process of creating a guardianship plan. They may even suggest alternatives such as a power of attorney or a living will. They can also advise on long-term care planning, from helping locate suitable housing options to providing information on government aid programs and Medicaid. Finally, estate planning attorneys are well-versed in nursing home planning, which can help ensure that families have the resources to provide their loved ones with the care they need.

  • Implement Estate Planning Strategies Such as Gift and Estate Tax Planning

Estate planning attorneys are a vital asset to families, as they help create strategies that protect and preserve their wealth. An estate planning attorney can help you implement various estate planning strategies to ensure financial security. These strategies can include gift and estate tax planning, which is an integral part of the process. Through gift and estate tax planning, you can reduce or even eliminate the taxes your family will owe after you pass away.

Common Documents Handled by Estate Planning Attorneys

Regarding estate planning, working with an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the complex legal processes involved is vital. Estate planning attorneys handle a wide range of documents to help ensure that your wishes are met after you pass away. Standard documents handled by estate planning attorneys include Last Will and Testament, Revocable Living Trust, Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, Living Will, and other critical legal documents. 

Depending on your specific situation and goals, estate planning attorneys may also recommend or draft various other documents to protect your interests and assets. These documents may include guardianship paperwork, special needs trusts, prenuptial agreements, and various business-related documents.

How Do You Select the Right Estate Planning Attorney?

Choosing the right estate planning attorney can be daunting, but it is an important decision that should be taken with seriousness. Below are some factors to consider when selecting an estate planning attorney:

  • Experience: Look for an attorney who has experience in estate planning. They should know the various legal documents and strategies involved in the process.
  • Credentials: Check the attorney’s credentials, such as their education, certifications, and affiliations. Look for an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state.
  • Client Reviews: Read client reviews and testimonials to understand the attorney’s reputation and track record.
  • Communication: Choose an attorney who communicates clearly and promptly. They should be able to explain legal concepts in a way that is easy to understand and be responsive to your questions and concerns.
  • Fees: Ask about the attorney’s fees and billing practices. Some attorneys charge a flat fee, while others bill hourly. Ensure you understand how the fees will be calculated and the services included.
  • Compatibility: Choose an attorney with whom you feel comfortable understanding your goals and concerns. They should be able to tailor their services to meet your specific needs and preferences.
  • Referrals: Ask for referrals from friends, family, or other professionals, such as accountants or financial advisors. They may be able to recommend an attorney they have worked with and trust.