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Should I Hire an Estate Planning Attorney?

Estate Planning For Life's Stages

Here are four types of estate situations that could call for professional legal help.

Losing a spouse, filing for divorce, and other life changing events are situations where an experienced estate planning attorney is recommended. The following examples describe other situations where an estate planning attorney’s advice and experience are needed.

Estates with Many Types of Complicated Assets

Hiring an experienced estate planning attorney is a must for more complicated estates. These are estates with multiple investments, numerous assets, cryptocurrency, hedge funds, private equity, or a business.

Some estates also include significant real estate, including vacation homes, commercial properties and timeshares. Managing, appraising and selling a business, real estate and complex investments are all jobs that require some expertise and experience. In addition, valuing private equity investments and certain hedge funds is also not straightforward and can require the services of an expert.

Estate Owes Federal or State Estate Tax

In some estates, there are time-sensitive decisions that require somewhat immediate attention. Even if all assets were held jointly and court involvement is unnecessary, hiring a knowledgeable trust and estate lawyer may have real tax benefits.

There are many planning strategies from which testators and their heirs can benefit. For example, the will or estate tax return may need to be filed to transfer the deceased’s unused Federal Estate Unified Tax Credit to the surviving spouse. The decision whether to transfer to an unused unified tax credit to the surviving spouse is not obvious and requires guidance from an experienced estate planning attorney.

Many states also impose their own estate taxes, and many of these states impose taxes on an estate valued at $1 million or more. When you add the value of the home, investments and life insurance proceeds, many Americans will find themselves on the wrong side of the state exemption and may owe estate taxes.

Family Feud Over The Estateshould-i-hire-an-estate-planning-attorney

Family disputes often emerge after the death of a parent. It’s a stressful time and no one is really operating at their best, so emotions run high.

If unhappy family members want to contest the will or are threatening a lawsuit, you’ll want guidance from an experienced estate planning attorney. These fights can result in time-intensive and costly lawsuits. The sooner you get legal advice from a probate attorney, the better chance you have of avoiding this.

Estate With Complicated Beneficiary Plans

Some wills have tricky beneficiary designations that leave assets to one child but nothing to another. Others could include charitable bequests or leave assets to many beneficiaries. An estate planning attorney will help weed through the legal documents and policies so the money goes where it needs to.

Estate Planning with Ozarks Legacy Law

The situations above present the most dire needs for an estate planning attorney, but everyone should consider the benefits of hiring Ozarks Legacy Law as a partner in estate planning.

Our team has over 50 years of experience in estate planning for families in Southwest Missouri. We help families avoid probate, complete their estate plan documents, plan for retirement, and more.

Contact us today to see if we can help you with your unique need(s).