If you’re interested in taking care of your affairs before the unfortunate happens, it’s important that you have an estate planning attorney to help you take care of all the details. Without one, your affairs could end up being a point of contention between your family members, making things difficult for everyone.
To ensure that everything is taken care of, here are six situations where having an estate planning attorney would be in your best interests.
You Plan To Bequeath Assets to a Non-Citizen
You can run into some major issues if you plan to name an executor who is not a legal resident. This is because they would need a tax ID in order to open an estate account, which may be information that non-residents cannot obtain. It would be in your best interests to obtain an estate planning attorney to help you take care of these issues beforehand.
You Intend to Disinherit Immediate Family
Typically, when you pass on, your property and assets are distributed amongst your immediate family members, as that is the easiest way to transfer property. However, if you intend to disinherit any of your immediate family members, then an attorney can walk you through the process of wording your will in such a way that it prevents said family member from receiving anything. This can be difficult especially if you are married, as you and your spouse do share ownership of certain assets.
You Have Immediate Family Members with Special Needs/Require a Guardian
If you’re providing care for someone with special needs or is incapacitated and can’t take care of themselves, then you will need to appoint a guardian in your estate planning documents. This isn’t something that can be done through word-of-mouth, as the state is likely to intervene. Guardianship should be taken seriously, as the named individual will have to make decisions on behalf of the family member, including how their money is handled or spent.
You Have Out-of-State/Foreign Property or Assets
Because these assets are under a different jurisdiction, trying to handle them through domestic estate planning will lead to problems. Different states will have different tax codes and legal requirements when it comes to the passing of assets. The same goes for assets that are in a different country. An estate planning attorney will know the ins and outs of handling such property and can make things easier for you.
If You Receive Medicaid
When you receive Medicaid or long-term care through the system, Medicaid can actually seek repayment of these services by claiming your estate and house after you die. Usually, this only happens if you are not survived by a spouse or a child, but having an estate plan in motion will protect these assets so you can pass on as much as possible to the rest of your family.
You’re Interested In Setting Up An Irrevocable Trust
This is a kind of trust where the terms cannot be modified, terminated, or amended in any way without the permission of the beneficiaries. Such a trust can be good for certain situations, such as having a dependent with special needs and being able to provide them with income without disqualifying them from Medicaid or SSI, or if you want to create a charitable trust.
If you are having any questions about your property or assets and how they’re going to be taken care of when you pass on, then it would be best to speak to an estate planning attorney as soon as possible. Knowing sooner rather than later will help you to take care of your affairs before it’s too late.