The majority of estate plans are drafted by attorneys and this is primarily done because many people are not aware of their rights and responsibilities and may make mistakes in using online forms or do-it-yourself services. Many people also avoid the estate planning process because they do not want to contemplate their own chances of disability or death. This is a necessary component of approaching estate planning.
The good news is that you may have already started the process even if you are not aware of it. If you have designated beneficiaries on your life insurance policy or on your retirement accounts, you’ve already started the ball rolling with the estate planning process. Most people are under the impression that they simply shouldn’t engage in estate planning if they do not have an estate large enough to trigger the federal estate tax payment.
This is not true because there are a variety of different issues such as who will take over for you if you become incapacitated and unable to manage your financial or health care decisions, as well as the distribution of your personal property, that should be incorporated in an estate plan regardless of the value of the various assets you own. Talking to an attorney allows you to formalize your goals and to learn more about the ways that you may have overlooked potential estate planning issues.
Everyone can benefit from the services provided by an experienced estate planning attorney, because even without having significant assets or millions of dollars that would trigger the federal estate tax payment, you can still learn more about how to protect your family and your loved ones if something were to happen to you.