The Lawyer’s Role
It is easy to be lured by advertisements claiming you can save time and money by drafting your own will or trust using do-it-yourself websites, retail software, or fill-in-the-blank will or trust kits from the bookstore. It is unlikely that these alternatives will generate a suitable plan that accomplishes all of your objectives. Only a qualified trusts and estates lawyer can interpret the myriad laws bearing on property rights, taxes, wills, probate, and trusts. More important, canned programs and forms cannot provide the wide range of legal advice to assure that the form is correct, that assets passing outside of your will or trust are properly handled, that state law nuances are taken into account, or that relevant tax, legal and personal issues are properly addressed.
On the other hand, you can save time and money by preparing for a meeting with your estate planning lawyer. You can organize your information regarding your assets, liabilities, and title arrangements and think about your feelings regarding providing for various family members. We have prepared a questionnaire that will help you with this process. You should bring with you copies of important documents such as previous wills or trusts, powers of attorney, life insurance policies, employment benefits, and prenuptial agreements and divorce decrees.
If you are like most people, you have spent most of your lifetime to achieve your personal goals. The advice and direction of the attorney’s at Thomas E Raines, PC will be essential to implementing an estate plan that both disposes of your assets according to your wishes and meets your other personal objectives. Putting all of that at risk to do your own estate planning might accomplish nothing more than years of estate or trust litigation, costing far more time and money than some of the most elaborate estate plans imaginable.