An experienced estate planning attorney is needed for even a simple estate plan today. Estate planning laws constantly change, are intricately involved and are different in each state. This leads to the necessity of having professional help.
A Last Will and Testament, Revocable Living Trust, Advance Medical Directive, Living Will or Durable Power of Attorney can be completely or partially invalid if only one procedure is not followed correctly. A wrong word or missing signature can be all that invalidates the legal document.
Estate planning fees should be viewed as an investment and not as an expense. These fees may feel expensive but with the protection that is provided and the services offered, the fees are well worth the cost.
Here are some things that can help keep the legal costs down. These simple steps can help cut the fees of setting up and maintaining the estate plan.
1. Be Prepared – Before you even meet with an estate planning attorney have things as ready as possible. Write down that things you own, what you owe others and who you want to inherit what. Know who you want to be in charge of your estate in the event of mental incapacity or death. Once your estate plan is up and running all changes to the estate plan should be sent to the estate attorney for their comments and questions before adjusted to the original plan.
2. Keep it Simple – Having a simple estate plan can save money. An easy and straightforward plan will make drafting and maintaining it less complicated and time consuming. As a result, a simple, straightforward plan will be less costly while you are alive and in settling the estate after you die.
3. Join Your Attorney’s Estate Plan Maintenance Program – Giving your estate plan regular tune-ups keeps it current with your life, family, goals, assets, changes in laws and your attorney’s experiences. These tune-ups are offered by some estate planning attorneys at a reasonable fee and are offered once a year or every few years. Keep your estate plan up to date so your wishes are fulfilled.