When Do You Need A Will Attorney?

Sitting down with a will attorney to discuss the documents that will govern your estate is a critical part of protecting your legacy. It's not unusual to do this several times throughout your life, but you may wonder when it's worth investing in will attorney services. Here are three times when it would be prudent to talk with a lawyer about your will.

Drafting the Initial Will

Unsurprisingly, drafting and approving the first version of a will tends to be the most time- and attention-intensive one. You'll need to establish basic elements of your estate, such as how much importance you wish to place on using specific vehicles to transfer wealth. Do you need to set up a trust, or can a payable-on-death document do most of the heavy lifting? How will be the beneficiaries of your estate, and how will the executor contact them?

It's also important to think beyond end-of-life issues. A will can and should cover who makes medical and financial decisions if you become incapacitated or disappear. Similarly, you'll want to outline terms that are consistent with your beliefs regarding life-sustaining care.

Major Life Changes

Especially when changes include close people, such as a spouse or children, it's critical to work with a will attorney to do updates. This will ensure that there are no inconsistencies, ambiguities, or omissions in your will. In the absence of documents addressing these changes, a probate court may have to fill in the gaps in an existing will and prolong the process.

Big financial shifts also count, even if they're consistent with your current will. If you've won the lottery or an injury settlement, for example, you might be dealing with several times more wealth than before. Even if you're happy with the slate of beneficiaries, you might want to expand it by donating part of your estate to charity, for example.

Regular Updates and Checks

Depending on how much is at stake, many people believe in paying for will attorney services at least once a year. Even individuals with moderate wealth should perform reviews with the help of professionals every few years. Otherwise, there's a risk that some seemingly minor developments could outpace the will.

For example, you might have acquired a property and never designated a beneficiary. In the best scenario, this puts pressure on an executor to interpret your will and distribute proceeds equitably. The worst outcome is someone uses the small gap to question the validity of the will and force probate.

Contact a will attorney for more information. 

About Me

Know the Law

When most people think of hiring an attorney, they picture gloom-and-doom situations like crime and divorce. But in fact, there are so-called happy times when you would need to hire a lawyer. Perhaps it is time to draft your will and make sure all of your possessions get handed down to the right people after you pass away. Or maybe it is time to establish a trust and protect some of your estate. General attorneys offer a wide range of services, including those for good times and those for bad times. You can learn more about these professionals and their profession right here.

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