If you're putting your estate in order, and if you have significant financial assets, you owe it to your family and anyone else you are financially involved with to do right by them and have your affairs in order before it's your time to go. That's where a will and trust attorney can be of assistance. Here's why you might want legal help with taking care of your estate while you're still alive.
You Want to Leave Money to Children/Minors
Do you have grandchildren you dote on and you'd like to make sure they have money that's actually in their names instead of just giving it to their parents? If so, setting up a trust for your grandchildren or other young minors might be a good idea. The trust can dictate that the minors won't have access to the money until they reach a certain age. For example, they could take some money out of the trust when they reach college age, but then not access the rest until they are in their 20s or older. The trust also locks the money down in order to ensure that the money is not squandered by any of the other adults in your family before the children come of age.
You Have Business Interests to Consider
If all you have is a savings account or an investment account that you want to be split up evenly amongst your children, that's pretty straightforward. But if you own a business and want to give your share of the business to your children or have the business sold and the proceeds then given out to your beneficiaries, this will obviously complicate matters. A good lawyer will ensure that your will is ironclad and that your business can either be split up or continue on in full accordance with your wishes.
You Don't Want Anything to Go Sideways
Sometimes what the deceased person wanted to happen to their estate is not what actually happens once the family feuding starts. Maybe you have a child who is upset about their total share or that another person is getting more money than they are. If you anticipate bad blood between your beneficiaries and a possible lawsuit over your estate, it can be quite helpful to have a will or trust with specific terms already written out so there is no confusion or room for interpretation. It might also be possible to hire an attorney to act as the executor of your estate and last wishes after your death.