Do you think you will be a burden on your family if you have no estate planning? If so, it’s a good idea to get started planning now. Estate planning isn’t something you should put off into the distant future when you are in a financial bind. Instead, right now is the best time to start planning for your future. There are many steps you can take to make sure your wishes are carried out as you desire.
First of all, you need to find a qualified Washington estate planning attorney. You can do this by asking your local bar association for a referral. If they don’t offer a referral service, you can use a search engine to locate a local attorney. Many times, you can even interview attorneys before hiring them to ensure they fit your needs. Once you have a list of lawyers, you can conduct interviews to get a feel for who you’re comfortable working with.
Once you have a list of potential attorneys, you can contact each one individually to discuss your specific estate planning needs. Most estate planning issues can be easily explained by a competent lawyer. However, keep in mind that different lawyers specialize in different aspects of estate planning. When contacting an attorney to discuss your situation, be sure to ask questions about his or her background and experience.
In addition to finding a Washington estate planning attorney, you may also need to find a probate lawyer. A probate lawyer represents the heirs of a deceased person and helps them deal with the government system. If you’ve decided not to use a probate attorney, you can still use the services of an experienced Seattle probate lawyer. A good probate lawyer will be able to give you advice about your life insurance policy, estate planning options, trusts and gift beneficiaries.
Your final estate planning consideration is the will. A will is designed to ensure that your wishes are respected when you die. It must be signed within a reasonable amount of time after you die so your heirs will have enough time to pay your bills and estate taxes. Although it’s important to have a will drafted before you pass away, don’t use a template or hire an attorney until you’ve consulted with at least three different attorneys to determine what your will should look like. Keep in mind that although most wills rarely become a legal issue, the court can issue a temporary order called an “order of default” if a Will doesn’t meet the required requirements.
If you’re not sure which attorney you should use for your estate planning needs, you may need to use a combination of different Seattle estate planning attorneys. For example, if you have more than one minor child you’ll likely need the help of a probate and intestate lawyer, not a probate and family lawyer. Also, if you have a large estate you may need a Seattle estate planning attorney to take care of the business aspects of your plan while you work on your last will. For example, if you’re working with an attorney on the last will and testament, you’ll need someone to draw up the rest of the forms that the attorney needs to fill out. There are times when a single estate won’t require more than one lawyer to handle, so be sure to check with several Seattle estate law firms before hiring one to handle your case.