Estate Planning Lawyers — Helping Preserve Your Legacy and Maintain Control of Important Decisions
If a person is lucky, they’ll go through their lives without encountering any negative aspect of the legal system. However, this doesn’t mean they can avoid it altogether. Due to administrative laws, everyone has to worry about what happens to their assets when they die, who can make medical decisions on their behalf, and a variety of other issues related to their financial and personal well-being. Fortunately, estate planning lawyers can assist with these tasks.
At Johannesmeyer & Sawyer, PLLC, our team of legal professionals has experience in every area of estate law. Whether you need help with something as common as writing a will or you want to establish a trust fund for a loved one, we can assist. Don’t leave these important matters to chance, otherwise it may be the courts making decisions for you. Contact us today to schedule your confidential consultation.
Why Is Estate Planning So Important?
Individuals with high-net worth have typically already put a lot of thought into estate planning. For the rest of us, the importance of this legal necessity may be hard to grasp. However, one need only think of certain outcomes to fully understand its importance. For instance, who will make medical decisions for you if you’re incapacitated? Who will receive your assets if you pass on following a sudden accident?
These are just a few of the reasons that estate planning is so important. Without it, state law and judges will typically make important decisions for you. Each state has its own beneficiary guidelines, and they’re pretty much set in stone. This means that an estranged family member may have more rights over your assets than a loved one who has been by your side for years. An estate planning attorney can help avoid this.
Creating an estate plan can also help avoid probate, and it can even minimize taxes your beneficiaries have to pay after your death. Clearly, such planning has important financial implications — and this is true even for issues unrelated to death. For instance, Medicaid planning is an important way to protect your estate from high medical bills when you’re older. Most people are truly surprised when they learn just how many estate planning tools there are.
What Are the Important Estate Planning Necessities?
Many think of estate planning as nothing more than having a will in place. For some individuals, this document truly is all they’ll need. However, even simple estate plans such as this can get complicated. For instance, many states have requirements in place that don’t allow for handwritten wills — and there are many guidelines regarding who must sign the documents. This is another area an estate planning lawyer can assist in.
Even if your will is fully valid and in place, though, there are many other estate planning essentials you may need. They include:
- Trust: This legal entity is a document that holds assets and distributes them based on your wishes. There are various forms of trusts available depending on your circumstances.
- Power of attorney: This legal document grants another party the ability to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf if you were to become incapacitated.
- Advance directive: Also known as a living will, this legal document specifies your wishes for medical treatment if you’re unable to make such decisions in the future.
- Beneficiary designations: This designates who has access to your financial accounts if you were to die. This can keep certain assets out of probate.
- Business succession plan: Having a plan in place to assist with a smooth transition in management and ownership of your business can prove invaluable.
Clearly, not all these estate planning tools will be necessary for every situation. However, it’s important to have valid documents in place when they apply to your circumstances. At Johannesmeyer & Sawyer, PLLC, our team has the legal experience, dedication, and licensure to effectively assist with each of these and more. Contact us today to discuss your goals and plans for the future. We’re here to help.
Can You Handle Estate Planning on Your Own?
Many people believe they can handle estate planning on their own. To be clear, no one is required to hire an attorney to assist in any legal or administrative matter. However, failing to do so can prove costly. For instance, it only takes one mistake when writing a will to render it invalid. This means the courts and state law will decide what happens to your assets — even if you made it clear that your wishes were in direct opposition.
Getting help from an estate planning lawyer can also prove beneficial when you’re focused on asset protection. Many people don’t realize how at-risk their money and properties are. You could save up your whole life and then watch your “nest egg” become depleted in months due to an inability to qualify for Medicaid. Even worse, mistakes in estate planning can leave important decisions regarding your health to individuals you may not trust.
With estate planning, mistakes have significant repercussions. Don’t risk it. Contact our law office today for assistance.
Contact Our Estate Planning Lawyers Today
Estate planning is a complicated process, but it’s one that’s absolutely necessary to ensure you have control over the most important decisions you’ll ever face. From choosing who can make medical arrangements on your behalf to specifying who receives assets when you’re gone, this area of the law is both inevitable and admirable. Not everyone gets to make these decisions for themselves, but by working with an experienced attorney, that’s exactly what you’ll do.
At Johannesmeyer & Sawyer, PLLC, our team of dedicated legal professionals can help you with all your estate planning needs. We’ll work directly with you to ensure all your goals are met and your decisions are legally known and respected. People far too often put off this necessary task because they simply don’t like thinking about not being around. However, in some cases, you can handle this task once and never think about it again.
Contact us today by calling (803) 258-6449 to schedule your confidential consultation. Our estate planning lawyers are ready to assist.