Do I Need An Estate Planning Attorney?

By: Jared Curry
Monday, September 3, 2018

No one wants to think about funeral homes and cremations in Edison, NJ, but its important to plan and protect your family in case anything should happen to you. An estate planning attorney might be able to help you do that.  

Estate planning attorneys help guide you through the process of deciding how you want to divide your assets, gathering and preparing necessary post-life documents, and making sure your wishes are carried out after you’re gone. These lawyers are important because sometimes, without proper legal advice, affairs are left up to family members that are unsure of your wishes, or, in the worst case, might fight over the decisions. Estate lawyers can help you draft, review, and authorize important documents such as:  

  • Last will and testament 
  • Trust 
  • Durable power of attorney 
  • Medical durable power of attorney 
  • Beneficiary designations  

Like all other lawyers, estate planning attorneys charge fees. They generally charge a flat rate for prepping your desired documents and a per hour rate for more complicated tasks like handling disputes or carrying out the will. The exact rates depend on where you live and what caliber of lawyer you wish to procure. Be sure to decide on rates up front with your lawyer to protect yourself from getting over charged.  

The questions remains, however, do you need an estate planning lawyer?  

For most people, the answer is generally no. You don’t really need an estate planning unless:  

  • Your net worth is more than $5 million. If you have a large net worth, your estate might be subject to estate tax. In that case, it’s a good idea to consult a lawyer to make sure that your beneficiaries get what you wish as opposed to it being taken by taxes.  
  • You own large or many properties. Dividing up property can be tricky as titles are held in many ways and there are often confusing technicalities that you might be unaware of. In some cases, you might not even have the right to bequeath certain properties. An experiences lawyer can help guide you through these confusing laws to make sure your property is dealt with appropriately.  
  • You have special circumstances. From children with disabilities to foreign property or heirs, special circumstances are tough to navigate. A specialized estate planning attorney can show you the way to get through such special circumstances.  

If you’re unsure if you need an estate planning lawyer, it couldn’t hurt to get a consultation. Remember most lawyers do charge fees even for consultations, but sometimes peace of mind is worth the cost. If you have more questions about estate planning, or want to know more about preplanning for your passing, contact Plinton Curry Funeral Home. We offer Edison, NJ cremation and funeral home services, and would be more than happy to assist you. Visit us at 411 W Broad St Westfield, NJ 07090, or give us a call at (908) 232-6869 to learn more.  

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