Estate Planning | Shah & Associates, P.C. Estate Planning & Business Law Blog - Part 2
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A Personal Note from Managing Attorney Neel Shah 10/20/2017

October 20, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 4:37 pm

Last week I was privileged to present at a National Symposium in Los Angeles as part of WealthCounsel & ElderCounsel, which is an elite network of Estate Planning and Elder Law practitioners from across the country. Needless to say, it was a humbling experience to be considered an expert on something amongst a group of my colleagues and peers.








But it didn’t take long for my head to shrink back down to normal size, because the very next day, upon returning from California, I was tested for my yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do (for those that don’t know – this is only 1 step “up” from being a beginner). Suddenly instead of being the expert in the front of the room, I was now the novice, this time being judged by the experts. Also a humbling experience.


The point is, you can easily be an expert in one thing and a novice in another. When I need instruction on my forms & self-defense skills, I turn to the Masters. When it comes to estate planning, if you are not an expert, you should seek the advice of one. You ‘don’t know’ what you ‘don’t know’.

If you would like to learn more about the things you may not know regarding estate planning, please consider joining us for our free workshop coming up on Thursday, Oct. 26th at 10am in our In Office Classroom. You can email us at to RSVP or request more details.

We hope you can join us, but if not, you can also use this link below to schedule a brief call. And don’t forget to check out this past week’s articles.

Best wishes,


So My Estate Plan is Finally Complete. What Do I Need to Do Now?

October 16, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

After you’ve put together your ancillary documents, your power of attorney, your trusts and your will, you might assume that you’re prepared for anything. While having a comprehensively prepared estate plan is a crucial first step, you need to ensure that you finalize this process of protecting your interests. You need to ensure that all relevant team members are aware of the role they play and their responsibility. You should certainly advise those closest to you and your trusted professionals such as your CPA or your estate planning lawyer about the plan you have in place. estate planning in NJ

Depending on the relationship you maintain with the beneficiaries and their age, you may want to provide additional details and copies of associated documents. But it is always a good idea to provide directions, detailing the initial steps that should be taken after you pass away. After this first conversation, you may want to create a blueprint of critical information for the individual who will organize your affairs such as:

  •       A list of important people to contact.
  •       Your personal balance sheets.
  •       A list of contact details for your estate beneficiaries.
  •       Copies of retirement asset, annuity and life insurance policy beneficiary designations.
  •       Individual instructions regarding your children, your business affairs and your funeral and burial desires.
  •       A digital asset inventory.

All of these steps can help to clarify things for your loved ones and make things easier if you were to suddenly and unexpectedly pass away.

The right lawyer is a big asset when planning your estate- consider scheduling a meeting now to learn more.

Are You Overlooking These Common Digital Assets in Your Estate Planning?

October 12, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

It makes sense that any digital assets that contain money or something of value should be considered in your digital estate plan. However, with a growing number of accounts and assets online these days, it’s all too easy to downplay digital assets. In addition to your tangible assets, the sentimental value of and the potential financial value associated with your digital assets makes them well worth including.

A new study out of Australia found that people are most likely to own emails, banking records and social media accounts but they may also have domain names, online businesses, bitcoins, iTunes accounts and medical records online that should be incorporated into a comprehensive digital estate plan.

Online service providers will have different rules and strategies associated with how to deal with the deceased user’s account and will typically close them automatically after an individual has passed away. This may not be in your best interests or something that you desire, which makes it all the more important to review these policies now and have a stipulated plan for addressing them. Consulting with an estate planning attorney can help to clarify the most important issues involved in your digital estate and how you should approach the subject overall. digital estate planning just as important

Don’t forget about how all your documents should work together- for example, your beneficiaries on your retirement policies need to be updated because this will be looked at instead of what you list on your will. In addition to reviewing your will on a minimum of an annual basis, you’ll also want to take a look at your beneficiary forms requested by any of your bank, brokerage, retirement, and life insurance accounts to make sure they reflect what you’ve got in your plan.

New Research Shows That Parents Play Favorites with Children in Estate Planning and More

October 11, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am


Parents may try their best to treat children equally. However, a new research study shows that they may have a favorite and it will play out in multiple ways. The Journal of Consumer Psychology shows what may parents choose which child to give a $25 bond gift to. Fathers were most likely to choose their sons and a majority of mothers selected their daughters. 

Scientists say that this is because parents are more likely to identify significantly with their same gender child. Parents spend more money on a child of the same sex as themselves. This is true when it comes to savings bonds, cash allowances, back to school supplies and estate planning.

Research out of Rutgers Business School, State University of New York Oneonta and the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management found that consumers tend to favor investing in children who are the same sex as them because they are more likely to identify with those children. Have you thought about which of your children would benefit from receiving your assets and the most appropriate way to transfer these on? To minimize tax consequences and to ensure everyone is cared for? Consult with an estate planning attorney today.

Key Questions to Ask When Giving Away Your Money Before You Pass Away

October 10, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

There are ten key questions that you should consider in the process of thinking about giving away money as part of your estate. giving away money with estate planning

Consulting with a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer can help you get half the way towards protecting your interests and ensuring that you’ve considered all potential outcomes. These questions include:

  • Have you already appointed someone to make medical decisions on your behalf and have you told them what you would want?
  •       Can you afford to give away your money now? You may be able to take advantage of the annual gift tax exclusion rather than waiting till you pass away.
  •       Do you have the appropriate beneficiary listed on your life insurance and retirement account?
  •       Do you have a will?
  •       Are you worrying about federal estate taxes unnecessarily?
  •       Should you maintain your Roth IRA for your heirs?
  •       Does your state impose an inheritance or estate tax?
  •       Are the charities you support running properly?
  •       Have you talked to your adult children about your intentions with your estate?
  •       Could you donate appreciated assets to save even more on your taxes?

These are just a sampling of the questions that you should walk through before scheduling a consultation with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney.

Looking at All Sides of Your Estate Plan

October 5, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Most estate planning conversations with a lawyer have to do with the trusts that are set up upon each individual’s death, their attitudes or self-sustaining care towards the end of the life and the distribution of their assets. estate planning options

However, you should never neglect the softer side of your estate planning including your care of your pets, and other important topics like your attitude towards getting care in a facility or in your home. Some people may choose to stay at home towards the end of their life and would be uncomfortable placed in a hospital.

One of the crucial aspects of approaching estate planning at this level has to do with naming someone as a trustee, guardian, executor or establishment of power of attorney is a statement that you trust that individual to do what is best in various situations. Such a designated agent may struggle to make these decisions if you have not had a comprehensive conversation about what you intend to accomplish towards the end of your life and certain things that you do and do not want to be taken into consideration should problems emerge.

Consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney can open your eyes to the various issues often encountered by people at this level of estate planning. Both the procedural and the softer side of your needs need to be evaluated.

Maximizing the Value of Your Estate: Hire a Lawyer When Considering Real Estate

October 3, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Leaving behind sizeable cash assets, gifting or transferring this type of wealth to family members is part of your estate plan and could be subjective to significant taxes if you are not careful. However, if you transfer real estate investments of similar value, this could lead to significant discounts. include real estate in your estate planning

Real estate investments in which the investor transfers less than 50% of the assets means that the lack of voting rights or control can be considered when identifying the value for tax purposes.

This could lead to lower taxes because of discounts on the overall value. When evaluating potential transfers of assets, it is necessary to find an accounting professional in addition to an experienced estate planning attorney who can tell you more about how the different decisions you make will influence your future and the future of those you leave the assets to. The possibilities for discounts greater than what you might have expected to pay, identifying the best assets to transfer and the overall potential tax liability can all be discussed directly with professionals.

Even if you are a 100% owner of a property, you could be eligible to receive a discount if you give less than a 50% interest to any one individual. Doing this with your children maybe one common method to help minimize the potential taxes. You should never attempt to develop these strategies on your own and should instead consult with a knowledgeable estate planning and financial professional to assist you with a meaningful set of tactics.

A Sudden Death in the Family Can Present Challenges for Your Loved Ones

October 2, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

If the joint owner on a piece of property passes away, other individual owners may have questions about removing their name and whether or not such property goes through probate. Joint ownership property provides rights of survivorship benefits, meaning that the property does not need to go through the probate process. hire a lawyer to plan your estate

One of the major advantages of this type of ownership is that the property belongs to the surviving joint owners upon death and the ownership will transfer to the surviving joint owner or owners regardless of the estate plan put in place by the individual who passed away. At the moment of death, the surviving joint owner gets the decedent’s interest in the property immediately but the county involved does need to be notified of the death in order to have the title cleared.

You do this by recording what is known as a surviving joint tenant affidavit and an experienced estate administration attorney can help you with this process. The affidavit is extremely technical and should include critical information so that it successfully removes the decedent’s name and clears the title.

The preparation can be very complicated and should be left to an experienced attorney. Although sample forms may be obtained online to get a general idea of the basic information included in this process, it is recommended that you schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney who can help you walk you through the official legal steps.

Trust, Taxes, and Income

September 28, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

For the majority of retired investors and retirees overall, taxes, trusts, and income are all critical issues. These may be seen as a necessary evil but it is important to reframe your thinking to consider that a trust as one example as nothing more than a legal document that empowers you to exercise control over the distribution of your estate. A trust is often exercised to take advantage of particular tax advantages while also addressing estate tax issues when your estate officially changes plans. 

Sadly, investors with a great deal of amassed wealth may have had as much as 50% of their estate lost to taxes when it is transferred to the beneficiaries. One of the most common mistakes made in this method has to do with the funding of a trust using boilerplate trust forms that you find online or from an advisor could increase the chances of a mistake that ultimately harms your beneficiaries.

Since you are putting special care and consideration into your loved ones’ benefits and how they will be rewarded in your estate, you need to follow through on all aspects of properly funding the trust and establishing it to begin with. Scheduling a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney can help you to accomplish all of these goals and to give you more peace of mind about your own future.

What Happens If the Executor Doesn’t Follow the Requirements of the Will?

September 21, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Appointing an executor is an important step to take if you want to protect your interests after you pass away. Choosing the right person to serve in this role is important because you need to place your faith in this individual. For your family members struggling to cope with your loss, the selection of an executor who doesn’t follow the will’s requirements can present problems beyond what they know how to handle, but there are options.

Probate proceedings are judicial, so there is a judge who will oversee the process. A court may appoint a personal representative in your estate if you do not have one, and the court will maintain jurisdiction over the matter in this situation. There are two major types of estate administrations; supervised and unsupervised. The court will be involved in every stage of a supervised administration. Prior to the action taken by the personal representative, that person would need an order from the court. 

Unsupervised visitation, however, requires far less involvement from the court when compared with supervised administration. Once the estate has been completely administered, the personal representative issues a final account in with court.

Parties have a maximum period during which they can object and it is strongly recommended that you have a probate lawyer to assist you with this process because you will need someone who is familiar with the law and who can help you navigate the complexities of estate planning and administration. Consulting with a lawyer immediately is very valuable for anyone who finds themselves in this situation.


Consider What Happens to Your Digital Estate After You Pass Away

September 20, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Comprehensive estate planning is something that any person can benefit from, regardless of the size of their estate. It is a mistake to assume that you do not have to participate in estate planning because you have a few basic documents such as a will in place. Your will could be outdated or even legally invalid depending on whether or not you have moved to new states or incorporated new things into your life since you last put it together. Consulting with an experienced attorney is the best way to get a holistic approach to your estate planning. plan for your digital estate

One commonly overlooked but increasingly important component of estate planning has to do with your digital estate. What happens when you pass away to your email accounts, bank accounts, and even your social media. Will these disappear? Are they deactivated? Or will they exist in the Cloud forever?

The answers to these questions lie in the domain of digital estate planning and scheduling a consultation directly with an experienced digital estate planning lawyer can help you to accomplish a broad perspective on what you need to include. With so much vital information stored online, you simply cannot afford to neglect your digital estate planning opportunities. The nature of estate planning itself has changed and while you still may benefit from some of the more traditional documents, you can also benefit from considering what plans you’ll put in place to protect the assets you have online or to deactivate them. Appointing another individual to step in in this role is a common way of addressing concerns with your digital estate but you need a plan that is designed for flexibility and fast action. Consulting with a lawyer who is knowledgeable about digital estate planning can help you to craft a plan that is in line with your unique needs.

The nature of estate planning itself has changed and while you still may benefit from some of the more traditional documents, you can also benefit from considering what plans you’ll put in place to protect the assets you have online or to deactivate them. Appointing another individual to step in in this role is a common way of addressing concerns with your digital estate but you need a plan that is designed for flexibility and fast action. Consulting with a lawyer who is knowledgeable about digital estate planning can help you to craft a plan that is in line with your unique needs.



Estate Planning Outside of Taxes is Critical Too

September 19, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am


One of the primary purposes that many people engage in the estate planning process is to ensure that taxes are minimized and that their financial matters are handled as they wish. However, you need to consider planning for purposes other than taxes. For example, you will need to think about designating the best executor or trustee because this is a crucial piece of ensuring that the administration of your estate goes smoothly. It might also be important to update materials over time for any special needs provisions if any of the beneficiaries is receiving government assistance. 

If there is a change in your family situation, this could also trigger updates in your estate plan. Failing to incorporate this could lead to confusion or even conflicts after you pass away. If the size of your estate has changed, it’s also a good idea to schedule a consultation with an estate planning lawyer to discuss your overall financial distribution plans. The current gift tax exclusion may allow you to provide gifts to someone while you are still alive and can help to reduce the size of your estate and give advantages to your beneficiaries in the short term.

Consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney can help you accomplish not just your tax planning goals but also the other unique considerations you will want to have including passing things on to philanthropy, how to do your beneficiary designations on things like retirement forms and other materials are relevant for estate planning purposes.

Have You Recently Inherited Money? Estate or Other Taxes May Await You

September 18, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

If you leave assets behind to your loved ones, you should always do so with a clear expectation of what that money or property is attached to. Ignoring the potential tax consequences could leave your loved ones in a difficult bind, whereas planning in advance gives them more opportunities and helps to stretch that money even further.

Many people do not meet the threshold to trigger the federal estate tax, although it is still important to schedule a planning consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney. There are certain states across the country that do tax individuals who receive inheritances. Variation also exists between these states about the size of the estate and the asset types. inheritance tax

Inheritance does not classify this income unless it relates to the federal tax structure and there is no requirement to report the same. But there are several different inheritances that could lead to income. The latter type would be taxable. Capital gains tax, for example, could be imposed on a profit made. Taxes can be minimized on inheritance assets. Since estate taxes can be complicated, it is strongly recommended that you bring your questions and your individual planning concerns directly to an estate planning lawyer who can assist you with further information.


Plan Ahead for Potential Catastrophes with Your Estate

September 14, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am


No one is able to get out of this world alive but you can make it easier on the loved ones that you leave behind. If you have minor children or accumulated assets, you still need to do some estate planning. The more complicated your life and businesses, the more complicated your planning must be.


Sadly, however, many people choose never to conduct their estate planning. A study completed by found that just over 40% of adults in the United States have completed basic estate planning documents like a living trust or a will. For those with children younger than age 18, that figure is even lower, with only 36% having put an end of life plan in place.

Many parents work as hard as possible to ensure that their children are safe in all aspects of life but failing to have appropriate estate planning documents like a living trust or a will could compromise their ability to accomplish their goals or put them in a very difficult situation should something happen to you. Without a will in place, you are leaving behind a difficult and potentially expensive situation to be handled by whoever the court appoints.

Many parents will put off estate planning because they are not sure about who to name as the guardian of their children and you assume that it is extremely difficult to talk about your own mortality. Blended families, however, and the complexities of modern life makes it even more important to put together an estate plan that considers your unique needs. Grandparents, for example, may not be a good choice as the guardians of your children simply because of their age but no matter who you choose to serve as guardian of your children, you need to have a conversation about what that entails and whether they are comfortable taking on that role.

How Millennials and Young Adults Can Also Benefit from Estate Planning

August 30, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Say the words estate planning and the typical connotation is someone approaching retirement or thinking about approaching the end of their life. However, estate planning benefits far more age categories than just baby boomers and elderly individuals. Estate planning can benefit millennials and young adults too. In fact, some of the most important estate planning documents are those that are used while you are still alive and not only after you pass away. millennials need estate planning

Having a power of attorney document that enables somebody else to step in and take care of your finances or other responsibilities if you were to become incapacitated due to an accident or disability is equally important as looking into the long range to establish how you’ll pass on assets to your loved ones. Millennials often neglect the process of doing estate planning because they assume they don’t have big enough estate or that something will not happen to them. However, given that a growing number of people need to be concerned about long term care costs and the potential for incapacitation at least once over the course of their lifetime, it makes sense to plan ahead and to think about who will step in to take care of things on your behalf if you were suddenly unable to do so.

Using documents such as a will to name a guardian for your minor child also give you peace of mind that someone will be able to step in quickly if an accident does happen. No one anticipates becoming the victim of an incapacitating event or losing their life early on but millennials and young adults can show that they have a serious consideration of the future and how they intend to protect their loved ones by scheduling a consultation with an estate planning lawyer who has extensive experience in this field.

Do not hesitate to schedule a meeting with a lawyer you can trust. With so much on the line, there are many different things that must be considered and the tools articulated by a lawyer can go a long way in giving you the peace of mind and confidence about your future and the future for your heirs.



Is It a Good Idea to Leave a Home to Your Loved Ones While You Are Still Alive?

August 29, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

As more baby boomers are heading into retirement on a daily basis, common questions emerge regarding estate planning. One of the most common concerns for various baby boomers approaching retirement is how to deal with their homes. This is frequently the most valuable asset for people and is fraught with complicated questions that must be addressed. You might be thinking about selling and downsizing to leave a larger amount of cash for your heirs to divide. Perhaps instead you want to leave the deed to the apartment or the house to your adult children to decrease the chances of a conflict after you pass away. leaving a home to your loved ones

Since the value of homes is on the rise in many different locations, it is extremely important that you schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney to talk about how you could protect your most valuable assets. More adults who are reaching their elder years have a desire to age in place in their own home. They may opt to make the gift of their home to someone instead of cashing out and downsizing. There are so many options to consider as you get older that it’s well worth having a candid conversation with your spouse and using the goals you identify in your meeting with your estate planning lawyer.

Whether you intend to pass on assets directly or your home, setting up a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney can help you identify the strategies and the tools most appropriate for protecting these assets, minimizing the tax consequences to heirs and putting you in a position to easily transfer these assets should something happen to you while also maintaining the necessary funds to support your health care costs.



Legal Documents You Can Use to Empower Someone Else to Make Decisions for You

August 21, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

There are many different legal documents that may become an important component of your estate plan. In the event that you become incapacitated, your investments must still be managed, your bills must still be made and other financial issues must be dealt with. A durable power of attorney is a document that helps to ensure that if you were to become incapacitated, there is someone to manage your finances. This person serves as your agent and he or she will be able to deposit, write checks and withdraw money from the accounts on your behalf as well to speak with your financial advisors. Ensure that you name a financial agent as someone who you can trust who will act in your best financial interests. A power of attorney is different from a durable power of attorney. legal documents for estate planning

A durable power of attorney can be problematic because many real estate title companies or financial institutions are hesitant about using them because they are not sure whether or not it is the most recent version of the power of attorney. Your general power of attorney ceases to become valid legally as soon as you become incapacitated. However, find out the criteria associated with real estate title companies and your financial institutions before putting together a power of attorney. The companies that manage your retirement accounts might have their own power of attorney forms or other requirements that you need to follow in order to comply. If they do have necessary documents, make sure you use theirs and share this information with your estate planning lawyer.

Some people identify the problems with the power of attorney documents and chose to set up a revocable living trust instead. This can act like a super power of attorney because financial institutions such as banks are legally required to comply with their terms. A revocable living trust tends to be most appropriate for estates that are worth more than $1 million. Transferring assets into the trust and designating yourself as the trustee is the typical course of action followed by people using revocable living trust for estate planning purposes. Contact a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer to learn more about how this can benefit you.


Retirement Being Redefined By Lack of Confidence for Baby Boomers

August 16, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Baby boomers make up a significant portion of the population today, and as many of them are confronting retirement and realizing they do not have appropriate support behind them, this is redefining what it means to retire. There are approximately 76 million Baby Boomers coping with the impacts of the financial crisis as they prepare for or enter retirement. retirement and lack of confidence

The financial crisis decreased the value of their homes, and it cut into their net worth and savings. This means that the confidence carried out by baby boomers in achieving a satisfying retirement decreased significantly. Those are the results of a study commissioned by Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement. Less than 4 out of every 10 baby boomers are certain that they will be able to have a personally satisfying retirement. The study looks at how lack of confidence has changed the attitudes and behaviors regarding saving and investing, and how many of them are adapting to meet the new challenges.

Approximately 28% of Boomers are making more conservative investments, and 26% report that they no longer invest due to having weathered the most recent crisis. The Boomers who were surveyed also have decreased their expectations for complete financial independence in retirement. This study indicates that

-Only 19% expect to pay off their mortgage.

-34% expect to retire free of debt.

-16% believe they will have an inheritance to pass on to heirs.

-16% expect to have savings.

The percentage of Baby Boomers who expect to work part-time or full-time in retirement has increased from one-third to almost one-half since before the crisis. The new retirement often means working longer and reconsidering the amount of money they will need to support themselves in retirement.

If you have questions about how retirement planning and estate planning can work together, schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning lawyer. A lawyer can walk you through how these issues often intersect, and the appropriate strategies and tactics you can use to protect yourself now and well into the future. With a lot on the line for your retirement, as well as your ability to pass on assets to your loved ones, taking action sooner rather than later is strongly recommended.

Five Things You Can Accomplish with Estate Planning for Your Children

August 15, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am


Your children are probably some of the most important people in your life. Parents spend a lot of time worrying about and thinking about their children’s future. estate planning for your children's sake

Spending time with your children over the summer holidays can reignite concerns about what will happen to them after you pass away. This is a natural inclination that may even prompt you to schedule a meeting with an estate planning attorney. Although estate planning certainly has individual benefits for the person putting together the materials, it also has many advantages associated with your children or your grandchildren. There are five primary ways that properly structuring your estate plan and consulting with a knowledgeable attorney can assist you. These include:

  • Protecting benefits for a disabled child.
  • Protecting the inheritance that you leave behind for children.
  • Ensuring future vacations at the family vacation home.
  • Assisting adult children with health care decisions.
  • Providing for someone to step in and care for your minor children in the event that you pass away.

All of these crucial issues can be addressed typically in one or a series of meetings with the right estate planning lawyer. Many people put off the prospect of estate planning because they assume that they do not need it or that it is too time consuming or expensive. However, scheduling a consultation now will give you an overview of all of the different things that can be accomplished with the right lawyer.

DIY Dangers

August 14, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

You know you need to set up a will and perhaps a trust, too. A Google search reveals a broad range of websites that promise to help you do just that either for free or a minimal cost. Pointing and clicking, though, is a dangerous approach to take with your estate planning. NJ estate planning lawyer

Using an online site to put together estate planning documents like a power of attorney, a trust or will is appealing if you think that you might not be able to afford to shell out a few hundred dollars for an estate planning lawyer, or in situations in which you need the paperwork settled quickly. However, there can be major risks associated with doing this, particularly if you have an issue that requires legal oversight like caring for a special needs child to protect him or her being cut off from government benefits, or if your financial situation is complex.

If you have an uncomplicated estate, it’s still a good idea to schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney because you can get further insight about how relevant laws and regulations affect you as well as further strategies that can help to protect you and carry out your wishes. With so many things that must be accomplished and even the most basic of estate planning documents, it can be a mistake to assume that a generic form is capable of capturing all of the information you will need to have your wishes carried out once you pass away.

Far too many people never even realize the negative impacts of failing to take action because their family members will be the ones sorting out conflicts and unresolved issues after the loved one passes away. Do your family a favor and schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney so that you can learn more about the benefits provided by estate planning.

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