Cohen & Winters, PLLC are estate planning lawyers in Bedford NH.
Estate planning is a very personal and important process for everyone. It is about planning for the future, ensuring that your assets are protected and that you have selected the right people to make decisions on your behalf should you become unable to make them yourself.
What is estate planning?
Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging for the disposal of a person’s estate. While it’s often associated with old age, it isn’t something that should be put off until later in life. It can also affect you if you have young children or own a business.
A good estate plan will include a strategy for protecting your family’s assets from lawsuits and creditors, managing the distribution of your property at death, and reducing or eliminating estate taxes. What’s more, an effective estate plan will ensure that your property is passed on to your loved ones in accordance with your wishes.
Who is an estate planning lawyer?
Estate planning attorneys are also referred to as probate attorneys or trust lawyers. They are lawyers who specialize in helping you manage every aspect of preparing for your death. Estate planning attorneys will help you understand what happens if you become disabled, how to prepare for transferring property at death and how to prepare a will or trust.
An estate planning lawyer can help you draft a plan that will allow you to legally designate beneficiaries for your property and assets. Estate planning lawyers can also help you understand how different types of trusts work, including revocable living trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts, testamentary trusts (which take effect after your death) and charitable remainder trusts.
Why you may need an estate planning lawyer
Estate planning lawyers help people write documents like wills, trusts and powers of attorney. They also recommend ways to reduce the taxes and the time it takes to transfer an estate to loved ones. The reasons why you might need am estate planning lawyer include but are not limited to:
- You want to leave your assets to beneficiaries other than your spouse
- You have a large amount of debt
- You own a business
If you have a lot of debt, like credit card bills or medical expenses, an estate planning lawyer can help make sure your heirs don’t have to pay them after you die. In some cases, these debts can be forgiven by bankruptcy or other options if the person has no assets. If there are assets available though, creditors may end up getting some of them after the person dies.
What an estate plan consists
An estate plan may include one or more of the following:
- A Last Will and Testament
- A Revocable Trust or Irrevocable Trust
- A Power of Attorney
- A Living Will or Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care or Advance Medical Directive
- Nomination of guardians for minor children or dependents with special needs
- Nominations of conservators/trustees to manage assets upon incapacity
- Planning for incapacity through durable power(s) of attorney
- Asset protection planning
Thinking of hiring an estate planning lawyer? Reach out to us!
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