No one likes to think about his or her own death, but what’s even harder to think about is your family struggling after losing you because you did not leave an estate plan to protect them. When you don’t plan for and protect your assets, the family you leave behind when you die or are left incapacitated must figure out where the assets are, what the value is, and who should get what, not to mention dealing with the probate process and possible taxes and fees that could have been avoided. Taking the simple step of meeting with the estate lawyer planning team at Littlejohn Law can save your family a great deal of trouble after you are gone.
What You Can Expect From Your Estate Planning Lawyer
Our process is the same for all of our estate planning clients. When you work with us, we will take you through the following steps:
- First, we will send you an Estate Planning Questionnaire to fill out and mail in before your first consultation. This gives us some basic information about your family and your assets.
- During your initial in-person consultation, we’ll ask questions to identify your goals and discuss the pros and cons of different strategies to accomplish those goals.
- We will then prepare the necessary estate planning documents, carefully explaining the purpose of each document and the decision-making powers outlined in each.
- Finally, we’ll make sure you understand the documents you are signing and the impact they will have on you and your family.
Estate planning is an ongoing process and, once your initial plan is in place, we will follow up with you on a regular basis to make sure your plan still matches your desires. As major life events occur—children grow up, family members pass away or fall out of favor, assets are sold, or new properties are acquired—we will help you adjust your plan accordingly. Ours will be a lifelong partnership!
Wills & Trusts Are Important Elements of an Estate Plan
At the root of a solid estate plan is an up-to-date will and—possibly—a trust that protects your assets. When we create your estate plan, we will begin with these foundation pieces:
- Will. Everyone who has property or assets in their name and has a preference for what should happen to them after they are gone needs a will. It can be a simple document, but if it is not created with the help of an attorney, it could be worthless when you pass away. We will walk you through the process of creating an initial will and keep in touch with you over the years to make sure it continues to reflect your wishes.
- Trust. A trust is an estate planning tool that holds assets for a particular purpose. Trusts can be used to protect assets from a range of risks and to make sure those assets are distributed according to the trustor’s wishes. Benefits of establishing a trust include avoiding probate for the assets held in trust and being able to designate exactly how and when you want the assets to be passed on to your heirs.
When you meet with us to discuss your estate plan, we will be very clear about what a will can and cannot do and how a trust might be the tool you need to accomplish your goals. At Littlejohn Law, we never push our clients into agreeing to more planning and tools than they need or can afford. Instead, we customize your estate plan to fit you perfectly. We focus on your goals.
Put Your Mind at Ease by Taking This Difficult Step Today and Speak With Your Estate Planning Lawyer
For many people, taking that first step is the hardest. Connect with us today to schedule your telephone consultation and we will put your mind at ease. Life is unpredictable, but you can prepare for the unexpected by working with Littlejohn Law to create an estate plan that protects your assets and your family.