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What Are The Most Important Questions To Ask An Estate Attorney?

by Eva Holmes

Estate planning is one of the most important financial decisions you'll ever make. If you make any mistakes, you won't be able to fix them. To get it right, here's what you should ask your estate attorney.

Who Will Handle My Finances After I Die?

Your will is only part of your estate plan. You'll also need to make sure someone handles your finances after you die. This is called your executor.

That person may be a professional or family member. It's up to you who you choose, but your estate attorney can help you decide how to choose and ask you questions about each person you're considering that you may not have thought of.

Will My Children Inherit Everything Equally?

This is another question that you have to answer but want your estate attorney to guide you through. If you don't have a will, your children usually get equal shares of your estate but also split it with other family members. Even if this is what you want, not having a will means a more expensive probate process for your family.

Next, you need to figure out your goals. For example, your house might be worth so much of your estate that your children can't divide your estate equally without selling your house. You can either leave your house to someone or decide that they might have to sell it.

Will My Heirs Pay Estate Taxes?

Depending on the size of your estate, there is a chance your heirs could have to pay taxes. If you ask about taxes in advance, you may be able to find ways to plan your estate to reduce or avoid taxes. You'll also know if your children will be able to keep the full amount of what you're leaving for them in case your intent is for them to end up with a specific amount.

Does My Will Cover Everything?

No matter how simple or complicated your will is, there is a chance it doesn't cover everything. Maybe you didn't think about acquiring more property in the future or you left out healthcare directives.

Your estate attorney can help you make sure you have a full estate plan. This could be by adding things to your will, or you might add other estate planning documents to cover other things.

To learn more about planning your estate, contact an estate attorney in your area.