Estate lawyers, also known as probate lawyers or attorneys, are responsible for taking the personal representative/executor of a will through the estate planning process. Which means that they are trained to walk you through every step of your estate planning.
Estate Lawyers are equipped to offer legal and educational support helping you to organize and legalize your estate distribution.
Why hire an estate attorney?
If you have a complex estate or family situation that requires detailed planning, hiring an estate attorney to help you is a good idea. A good estate lawyer can build your estate plan, as well as minimize potential taxes and fees, and set up a contingency plan to make sure that your assets are distributed to the correct beneficiaries.
Examples of complex estates and complicated family situations
- Own your own business
- Your estate is worth more than 1 million dollars
- Have a special needs child
What does an Estate Lawyer do?
- Secures probate and non-probate assets
- Obtains date of death values and appraisals of the deceased property
- Advises payment of the deceased outstanding debts
- Handles retirement plans (IRAs and 401(k)s)
- Handles financial aspect of the estate checking account
- Collects life insurance proceeds
- Configures estate tax and gift issues
- Income tax issues
- Settles disputes between Personal Representatives/Executors and beneficiaries
- Follows and monitors applicable state probate laws
- Assists in the sale of estate property
- Assigns the deceased assets into the names of the beneficiaries
- Handles documents required by probate court
How much does an Estate Lawyer Cost?
$1,000 – $2,500 is the average price for the basic estate planning for a single person. Although it does vary depending on the size of your estate and where you live.
What is the AAEPA?
AAEPA stands for American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.
It is best to check the credentials of an estate lawyer beforehand, making sure they are members of the AAEPA.