You’ll need help with estate planning
The process of estate planning begins with making out a will. This is not as simple as it seems. A will must be written very carefully in order to ensure that it covers all of your assets and doesn’t count anything twice. It is particularly important to make sure you get it right, because your will won’t be considered to be officially recorded until after your death. This is why it is a bad idea to write your will yourself or use a form downloaded from a Web site. Making out your will is one of the many things an estate planning attorney can help you with. If your will is made out properly, it’ll exactly what it is supposed to do — guide your heirs in the transfer of your assets after your death.
Trusts are also an important part of the estate planning process. They can be used to govern and protect your assets while you are still alive. If you place your most valuable assets in an irrevocable trust five years before you plan to enter a nursing home or apply for Medicaid, you can avoid the imposition of sanctions.
If you still have minor children who will need to be cared for, you can nominate someone to act as their guardian, although the court will have the final say in this matter. Remember that it costs, on average, $50,000 a year to raise one child. You should set aside money in your estate to help cover these expenses, in addition to whatever you leave in trust for the children themselves. Also, the guardian of your children doesn’t have to be the same person as the guardian of your estate.
Creating a durable power of attorney
A durable power of attorney is another tool of estate planning. It gives your chosen agent the power to make legally binding decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated. This is important for anyone who needs to be placed in a long-term care facility. But all powers of attorney are not created equal. If you are thinking of granting this to someone you trust, or may be named as a trustee, you will want an attorney who is both trustworthy and experienced in this field to help you draw up your power of attorney so that it allows gifting to take place.
Estate planning attorney in the Gastonia area
All the aspects of estate planning are things you will need professional legal advice for. Robert C. Whitt is a Gastonia attorney, servicing the areas of Gastonia, Charlotte, Mount Holly and Gaston, Mecklenburg, Lincoln Counties and surrounding communities. He focuses on wills, trusts and other aspects of elder law, and can help you with planning your estate. Call and make an appointment today.