estate planning attorney

Have you been avoiding creating an estate plan? You’re not alone; only around one in three American adults has a valid estate plan in place. Maybe you don’t feel that you’re too young to start end-of-life planning, or perhaps you don’t know where to begin. Many people attempt to form an estate plan on their own, only to find that cookie-cutter templates found online don’t quite fit their needs. That’s where an estate planning attorney comes into the picture.

The Role of an Estate Planning Lawyer

The purpose of an estate plan is to dictate how you want your assets distributed in the event that you die or become incapacitated. Estate plans ensure that your loved ones are protected instead of dealing with the complicated probate process, but it takes an expert to create such a plan. A skilled attorney can craft an estate plan that is legal and valid while establishing plans for your assets, property, investments, and more. 

Everyone’s estate plan will look different, and what’s included in yours may not be in your neighbor’s. Estate plans aren’t one-size-fits-all, and speaking with an estate planning attorney can help you decide which pieces to include in your plan.

  • Create a Will – An attorney who knows the ins and outs of Missouri estate laws is a great asset when creating a valid and legally enforceable will.
  • Establish Trusts – For many, trusts are just as important as wills when it comes to planning your estate.
  • Avoid Probate – Probate is a process by which a court distributes your assets. Even those who die with a will may need to go through probate, but a lawyer can help you fill in the gaps to avoid probate altogether in some cases.
  • Name Beneficiaries – Choosing beneficiaries for your assets is a huge decision. An experienced lawyer can guide you through naming your beneficiaries in a way that honors your wishes.
  • Create a Healthcare Directive and Name a Power of Attorney – In the event that you become incapacitated, an Advanced Healthcare Directive or Power of Attorney can ensure that your bills are paid and you receive the type of care that aligns with your wishes.

In addition to creating the legal documents necessary to establish a solid estate plan, your lawyer can offer guidance along the way. Although this may be your first time thinking about certain aspects of your estate, a lawyer has the experience and skill set necessary to offer helpful advice when you aren’t sure which direction to take. An attorney with estate planning experience knows how important each decision in the process can be and can offer advice that preserves your legacy, protects your loved ones, and honors your life.

Discuss Your Plans With a Missouri Estate Planning Attorney

You can start the process of creating a custom estate plan with the help of Mark Harford Law. We understand that no two estate plans are alike, and we can help you ensure that your wishes are fulfilled and your loved ones are protected after your death. When you choose Mark Harford Law, you can expect answers to all of your questions from a skilled attorney working with your best interests in mind. Contact us today to see what our estate planning lawyers can do for you.