General Articles

When Do You Need an Estate Planning Attorney?


The need for an estate plan is shaped by several factors, including the birth of a child, adoption, choosing guardians for minor children and pets, and creating a will or trust. There are various options for estate planning, but only an attorney with a specialty in this area is likely to be the most beneficial to you. If you do not have a legal professional to handle your estate, check out your local bar association, state bar association, and local TV ads.

Choosing guardians for minor children and pets

Choosing guardians for minor children and pets is a difficult task and one that you should discuss with an estate planning attorney Louisville, KY. While naming someone to raise your children is a significant responsibility, it is also a chance to choose someone you trust and respect. Therefore, it is important to consider the preferences and values of the guardian. For example, if you had twin 7-year-olds, you probably wouldn’t want your cousin to care for your children.

When choosing guardians for your children, you should consider their personality, financial situation, and environment. The guardians should be able to make decisions on day-to-day needs and financial issues. Also, choose guardians who respect your wishes and get along with your children. A guardian will help you ensure your children are well taken care of no matter what. Once you’ve decided on your guardians, you should consult with an estate planning attorney to formalize the agreement.

Creating a will

The fundamentals of estate planning begin with the significance of having a final will and testament. Simply said, if you pass away without a will, the government will divide your assets in accordance with the laws of your state, which may not be how you would have liked the process to go. When creating a will, you must first make an inventory of your assets. Next, you must know any real estate’s fair market value. You also must consider titled resources, such as bank and investment accounts. A titled resource passes directly to the beneficiary designated in the will. The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel has a guide to the laws for every state. You may consult the guide first to see what your state’s laws require for a will.

When preparing a will, you should make sure to have witnesses present. Although you can sign the will online, you will need to have someone present to witness it. 

Choosing a beneficiary for your estate

Choosing a beneficiary for your estate can be challenging. For example, you may have complex family dynamics and not know who you would like to benefit from when you pass away. Or you may feel pressured to choose a beneficiary for your estate based on the wishes of your loved ones. An estate planning attorney can help you make the right decision in these situations. 

A beneficiary is entitled to more than a portion of your estate. They are entitled to timely information about the estate. They should receive a copy of your will, know the date distributions will be made, and be informed of any litigation that may affect the estate. Moreover, they should be notified about changes in beneficiary designations if they are divorced or remarried.

Cost of hiring an estate planning attorney

You’re probably wondering what the cost of hiring an estate planning attorney is. There are several factors to consider when looking at costs, though. The first thing to consider is how much work you want the attorney to complete, as the process will require more documents and legal advice. An attorney’s flat fee will likely be higher, too. The best way to find out the exact cost of an estate plan is to speak with several attorneys and shop around.

The fee of an estate planning attorney will depend on how much work is involved. Some will bill you hourly, while others will charge you a flat fee you have to pay upfront. Either way, you shouldn’t expect to spend more than you originally intended. Hourly rates are typically around $150 for a single attorney, while flat fees tend to be higher. Even if an attorney charges by the hour, getting a reasonably-priced estate plan for the same price as hiring several other lawyers should be possible.