A shout-out to Attorney Greg Herman-Giddens, who posted this excellent piece on his North Carolina Estate Planning Blog. It’s easy to tell horror stories about the trouble clients get into with do-it-yourself estate planning forms. His post instead concentrates on all the positive things a flesh-and-blood estate planning attorney can offer you and your family. So here, it is, Attorney Herman-Giddens’ Why Lawyers vs. the Internet – a Baker’s Dozen.
Your estate planning lawyer can…
1.Listen to your goals and desires and incorporate them into your plan.
2.Offer advice, not just words on paper.
3.Help with referrals to other trusted professionals.
4.Make sure that the documents are properly executed.
5.Make sure that any trusts are properly funded.
6.Make sure that beneficiary designations are properly completed.
7.Make sure that accounts and real estate are properly titled.
8.Help with managing assets of incapacitated family members.
9.Help with probate and trust administration.
10.Help with income, gift and estate tax matters.
11.Help ensure governmental benefits for disabled or incapacitated family members.
12.Serve as an advocate in dealing with financial institution and governmental bodies.
13.Care about you and your family!