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Estate Planning and Management
Estate planners assist families in situations where a wealthy person has passed away. They may also offer management in other situations that call for management, such as when an owner is a minor or is incapacitated. A wealthy individual or family may hire an estate management company simply to handle details they would rather avoid, especially if they are retired. Estate management companies mostly handle real estate but may also work with investments.
In some cases, these companies may even handle trust funds that might be put in place for children or beloved pets. They may also assist in the drafting of wills, especially when there are animals or land that need to be protected. They may deal with probate court and life insurance companies and in some cases may be given power of attorney. As a result, they often hire or work with lawyers. They also help families handle death tax and asset transfers. They work to ensure that a beneficiary gets everything he or she is entitled to.
Estate planners may be involved in other forms of financial and investment planning. They may act as the executor of the will or simply assist the actual executor. In some cases they may also act as intellectual property executors.
For the most part, however, they deal with situations where substantial real property, cash or stocks are involved. They may become involved in mediation when a will is disputed or when an individual dies intestate and there is conflict amongst the survivors, or in complicated situations such as a lapse (when a beneficiary dies before the testator).
Estate planning and management is important to meet goals for your family and finances after the end of your life. You will need to include a will, power of attorney, as well as a living will or health care proxy. There are professionals available to help ensure that everything is properly done. However, you may find that the easiest way to start is by making an inventory of all of your assets, including insurance policies, retirement savings, investments, and real estate. A lawyer will ask you questions throughout the management of an estate to determine who you want to give your assets to when you pass away and who do you want to make decisions for you if you're incapacitated. Even if you have trusts set up you will still need to make a will in order to determine who your beneficiaries are and what property they receive. This is the cheapest way for your family to not have to pay high taxes. Mediation is a common way to have this discussion and help you decide what to do. Lawyers can specialize in estate planning, management, and probates. Many will provide management advice and help you set up trusts. All of this can help settle financial issues without your family going to court. You will need to determine who your beneficiaries will be. There are anti-lapse laws in place so the last will you have made will determine who gets what. Transferring management when planning for incapacity will reduce the amount of taxes your beneficiary will have to pay after your death. You can find probate lawyers and independent financial advisers online or in a phone book.