In the 21st century, we are all accustomed to finding just about anything we are looking for with a quick internet search. It can be tempting to google your medical symptoms instead of consulting a physician or rely on fill-in-the blank legal forms instead of working with an experienced attorney. To discourage you from doing the latter, the Indianapolis estate planning attorneys at Frank & Kraft explain several of the numerous benefits of working with an estate planning attorney.
What Is an Estate Plan?
Most people have some idea what an estate plan is and why it is important to have one in place. Nevertheless, over half of all Americans do not have an estate plan. Yes, an estate plan determines what happens to your estate assets following your death and prevents you from leaving behind an intestate estate; however, a comprehensive estate plan can do much more than that. A well-thought out and properly drafted estate plan can also do things such as plan for the possibility of your incapacity, protect your assets while you are alive, and help ensure that you can afford long-term care when you reach retirement age. In short, creating and updating your estate plan should be a priority now and throughout your life.
Important Benefits of Working with an Estate Planning Attorney
We have all become accustomed to turning to the internet when we have questions about just about anything. If you have yet to create your estate plan and feel pressured to get it started, you might be tempted to look for do-it-yourself forms on the internet instead of working with an experienced estate planning attorney. Before you make that mistake, consider the following benefits of working with an estate planning attorney:
- Saves your beneficiaries money. A common reason people offer for using DIY forms for estate planning is the mistaken belief that it saves money. Yes, paying a nominal fee for an online form is likely less expensive than paying an estate planning attorney in the short run; however, because using DIY forms dramatically increases the likelihood of errors and the chance that you will inadvertently leave behind an intestate estate, the cost to your beneficiaries is likely to much greater in the long run. Since the purpose of your estate plan is to protect and provide for your loved ones, the wiser choice is to prevent them from expensive and time-consuming litigation by working with an experienced estate planning attorney instead of relying on DIY forms.
- Reduces the likelihood of litigation that can hold up the distribution of much-needed estate assets. DIY forms frequently include outdated and non-state-specific legal language, fail to completely distribute your estate, fail to work with other estate planning documents, and generally increase the likelihood of litigation during the probate of your estate. Not only can probate litigation be costly, but assets held up in probate may not be available for distribution to the intended beneficiaries until the litigation reaches a conclusion. That can leave your loved ones without much-needed assets after you are gone.
- Ensures that your wishes will be honored. An estate planning attorney knows what tools and strategies to use to ensure that your wishes will be honored. This applies not only to how your assets are distributed after you are gone but also to things such as end-of-life medical treatment preferences, funeral and burial wishes, and decisions such as who will control your estate assets if you become incapacitated.
- Makes future updates easier. Your estate plan should not be something you create and then forget about. As changes occur in your life, such as marriage, parenthood, or retirement, you need to make corresponding changes to your estate plan. Establishing a relationship with an estate planning attorney early on in life ensures that these important changes to your estate plan will be made in a timely manner and with the advice and guidance of an experienced attorney.
Contact Indianapolis Estate Planning Attorneys
For more information, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have additional questions or concerns about the benefits of working with an estate planning attorney, contact the experienced Indianapolis estate planning attorneys at Frank & Kraft by calling (317) 684-1100 to schedule an appointment.
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