Law Office of Rick Todd Blog

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

What Do You Need in a Wills Lawyer?

Estate planning isn't just for the wealthy; anyone who has assets – either money or property- or the care of minor children should have a will prepared by an experienced wills lawyer. Nothing can sour familial relationships faster than arguments over the dispersal of assets. Dependent children who are orphaned without a legal guardian may suffer from lengthy custody cases. Even if you are young and healthy, having a legal document in place to protect your wishes is always the smart choice.

When you are making your selection of a wills lawyer, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. If you have large sums of money to bequeath, or your assets are in several different forms (cash, investment accounts, property), then an attorney with a tax background can help you best. Their familiarity with the tax code will help your heirs receive as much of your wealth as possible. They may recommend setting up a trust or trusts to protect your assets from heavy taxes, or to help spendthrift heirs properly manage their inheritance. If you have specific things that you'd like to help finance, such as a child's college education, or a wedding for a grandchild, then a qualified wills lawyer can help you set up separate trusts for those.

Attorneys who have a thorough knowledge of living wills and Medicaid can help you set up a living will, with instructions should you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions in your sound mind. Be careful if you have a complicated medical situation that the attorney you hire has the knowledge to ensure that your wishes are followed. In these cases, your primary care physician may even be able to recommend someone.

If you are a parent or guardian of minor children, appointing a caretaker for them when you die is essential. Before you select that individual, have an open and honest discussion about their own situation and whether they are financially and emotionally capable of raising your child. Sometimes fun Aunt Sally may not be the best choice to take care of your child permanently. A wills lawyer with experience in family law is your best choice to help you draft your will for the care of your children, especially if the caretaker lives out of state.

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The Law Offices of Rick Todd has offices located in Columbia, Chevy Chase, Fairfax, Virginia, and Maryland and serves clients throughout Clarksville, Columbia, Ellicott City, Fulton, Rockville, Bethesda, Potomac, Laurel, Howard County, Montgomery County, and Washington D.C.

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