For many, estate planning is a sensitive topic as it brings home the reality that death is imminent. It is probably why the percentage of people having wills is going down. About 51% of Americans had wills in 2005, and ten years later, the number fell to 44% and further declined to 32% in 2019. COVID-19 hammered the importance of having a will in place, and most millennials showed an inclination towards estate planning.
"Estate planning isn't just for wealthy people. Every person who cares about how decisions are made after they are gone, as well as their legacy, should give estate planning the attention it deserves," says Leslie Thomas, attorney specializing in estate planning.
Texas intestacy laws clearly state the rules for estate passing based on the deceased's marital and paternal/maternal status. These rules can be confusing, and therefore, hiring an estate planning lawyer is recommended. These are the top five reasons to hire one.
Protect Your Assets
You amass wealth and assets with effort and want your loved ones to benefit from it rather than have the State take over everything. In Texas, if you are single and do not have any no surviving kin, the estate will be passed to the State. An estate planning attorney will help you write up a will that ensures that the estate goes to those you love. It can be a friend or even a charity of your choice.
Save On Federal and State Taxes
If you hire an attorney to help plan your estate, you can be sure to save on federal and state taxes. Inheritance tax laws are complex, says Leslie Thomas, attorney and expert estate planner. An expert in estate planning will help provide a valuation of the estate and incorporate all the possible deductions so that there is a minimum or no tax cut before the estate is passed on to your heirs.
Avoid Mistakes That Lets the Estate Slip Out of Your Heir's Hands
The legal network surrounding intestacy can be perplexing, and without the help of an expert, your heir's may not get their rightful share despite you creating a will. The documents need to follow a proper channel to be considered a legal will, and an expert in estate planning can help you navigate the process.
Safeguard the Interests of Minors
When your heirs are minors, you need to make sure that you appoint a guardian or set up a trust fund for them. It secures the assets so that the children receive them when they are legal adults and meet the will's conditions. You can include clauses that protect the estate so that your heirs are taken care of properly.
Attorneys Will Help Update the Will When Circumstances Change
When creating the estate plan, your situation may change over time, and you will want to update it based on the change. Your attorney will ensure that these changes are carried out efficiently due to their expertise in the process.
It is best to have a directive about how you want your estate to be divided and passed so that your loved ones are not left puzzled about their inheritance. Hiring an estate planning service can make the task quick and ensure that the execution of the will is carried out smoothly.