Estate planning lawyers often talk about the need for estate planning to protect your assets, meaning your house, finances, and all the tangible property you own. Clients often say they want to do an estate plan to avoid taxes and avoid probate. Many have said they don’t want the “government” or nursing home to take their home. They’ve heard horror stories, some true and some exaggerated, and fear for their own house and assets. However, what I have learned, is that the heart of all of that is one thing: protect family.
Family is Your Greatest Asset
It’s not the person making the Will who must worry about paying taxes or going to probate, it’s the loved ones left behind. It’s not the person preparing the power of attorney who will be the one struggling at the bank or with the mortgage company over the right to discuss their financial affairs, it’s the spouse or child who is trying to manage those matters who will face that struggle. So, when clients explain to me their goals and desires, it’s evident the root of the concern is family. Sure, they’ve spent years building wealth (whether a little or a lot) and they want to control what happens to that wealth. But, it’s always for the ultimate benefit of family.
Family is the greatest asset we have. Not every client who comes to me has a spouse or children, and I work just as hard for them to protect what they hold dear, whether that’s a charity, partner, friend, or other relatives. For those clients who have a spouse and children, though, I understand their desire to ensure their family is protected.
Divorce and Estate Planning Have Similarities
I spent many years fighting for my clients in high-conflict custody cases. I stood by the side of many moms and dads as they fought to spend every moment possible with their children and to ensure their children were provided for financially. I’ve seen the devastation on the faces of husbands and wives who were mourning the loss of the marriage they thought would last until death, not divorce. That mourning was compounded with the realization their children would not grow up in a home with both mom and dad in it. The dream they had for their children was dead.
As a former divorce and custody attorney, I get it. The value of having an attorney who used to practice law in that field, is that I understand the importance of family and that your deepest desire is to protect your family. You want to protect them from losing the family home, from unnecessary expense and hassle, and from the worry of, “what now?”. You want to leave them everything you can and set them up for success.
The value of having a FORMER divorce and custody lawyer as your estate planning lawyer
The value of your estate planning attorney who used to be a family law attorney, is that I do understand those family dynamics and accustomed to dealing with them, without the emotional and time consumption of an active family law practice. Whether I’m helping a client with estate planning or estate administration, I understand those family dynamics in ways other lawyers may not while my practice is wholly devoted to helping families through estate planning and estate administration.
Family is Worth the Fight
Most importantly, though, I understand the importance of family and the fight we find within ourselves when it comes to our family. In estate disputes, that is, will contests, I’ve seen family members fight for what they believed was what their parent wanted. They fought tooth and nail to uphold the wishes of their parent. In estate planning, I’ve seen spouses fight through pain and other difficulties to tell me their wishes – sometimes in the last few days or weeks of life – to ensure their spouse or children were taken care of. Families are worth fighting for, and that’s what estate planning is about for me and Huntsville Estate Planning Lawyer, LLC.
How an Estate Planning Lawyer Fights For Your Family
How does an estate planning lawyer fight for your family? I will listen to your goals and needs and give advice based on what I think may be best for your family. That advice may be that a simple last will and testament is sufficient. Many clients come to me saying they have a “simple” estate and just need a “simple” will, but after hearing their family dynamics, it’s clear they need more than a simple will, they may need a trust. An estate planning package with a trust is more expensive than just a simple will and I sometimes get pushback from clients. As a lawyer, I must advise you based on what’s best for you, even if it’s not what you want to hear (including that what you need may cost a little more now but will save your family money after your death).
I also fight for your family when it comes to naming who will be the guardian of minor children or who will be the trustee or personal representative. Clients sometimes feel obligated to name particular people in those roles because of the family connection, particularly when it comes to guardianship over children. I give clients the permission to do what is best for their family – children in particular – if the best choice for those roles is not the person they feel obligated to name, such as the grandparent.
Take Steps to Protect Your Family through Estate Planning
Estate planning to protect your family is easy. (1) Go to my website (www.huntsvilleestateplanninglawyers.com) and click on “Schedule a Legal Strategy Call NOW”, (2) schedule your free virtual consultation where we’ll discuss your needs and goals. After that legal strategy meeting, I’ll prepare the documents that best fit your needs and family. Then (3) sign your estate planning documents and have peace of mind that your family is protected.