If you need immediate help with an estate planning issue involving a will, trust or estate, or would like to contact an estate planning attorney, you've come to right place. Because state laws vary considerably and communicating this essential information without vagueness while still complying with local rules can be complicated most people will benefit from the assistance of an attorney in preparing and executing the final documents. However, the better your understanding of the requirements, the easier and more effective your time with an attorney will be. Please select from of the following topics to learn more about getting legal help with an estate planning issue.
Estate Planning Forms and Tools
Examining the standard forms for a basic will, health care power of attorney, living will directive to physicians, designation of surrogate, and other important estate planning forms and checklists can help you better understand the purpose and structure of these legal devices. These tools are meant to be the beginning, rather than the end of a process of structuring the documents that help communicate your wishes to health care providers and courts in situations when you are unavailable to speak due to death or disability.
Materials in this section include an estate planning case intake questionnaire that can help an attorney determine which estate planning tools you need, an estate planning checklist to help ensure that you have considered all aspects of estate planning that are commonly needed, a checklist of action items for an estate executor organizing the actions required for an individual in this role, and sample documents including a basic will, a living will, a health care power of attorney form, and more.
In addition to basic forms and checklist there are articles that provide state-specific forms for advance directives and living wills and an article discussing the advantages of various estate planning tools.
Using an Estate Planning Attorney
Organization and preparation are always helpful if you are planning to meet with an attorney. Since time for a consultation may be limited, or the attorney may charge an hourly rate, the time spent preparing yourself and your paperwork can often translate into a cheaper and more thorough analysis of your needs. To help you prepare there are materials provided here that can help ensure that you present the information an attorney needs to help you plan your estate.
One such tool is an intake questionnaire designed to help organize the information most relevant to estate planning. This form will help you present your attorney with information about the property and family connections that most frequently affect which documents are necessary and how they should be structured. The form also asks questions designed to help you and your attorney determine which kinds of estate planning tools are most appropriate for your needs.
An experienced estate planning attorney will work closely with you to develop a set of estate planning documents that address your concerns in a way that is right for you. They will ensure that your wishes are communicated clearly and with the maximum weight of the law, while also anticipating and avoiding negative tax implications by consulting with expert accounting and tax advisors in some instances. Finally, they prepare and execute all of the necessary documents such as wills, living trusts, testamentary trusts, and powers of attorney.