The Law Offices Of Adam E. Parker
Dothan Wills & Estates Attorney
Wills & Estates in Alabama
Thinking about the end of your life can be scary but planning your estate can give you peace of mind. Whether you are getting older or taking precautions for unforeseen end-of-life situations, The Law Offices Of Adam E. Parker can help you get your affairs in order.
We encourage adults of any age to call us at (334) 790-0991 and learn what our estate planning lawyers can do for you.
What Is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is deciding what will happen to your assets and financial obligations after you pass away. You will need to make plans for your bank accounts, insurance policies, pensions, and valuable property. You may need to address debts and other financial obligations, as well. If you have minor children and/or pets, you will also need to determine who will take care of them.
Because the word, “estate,” is sometimes associated with a large house, many people believe estate planning is just for wealthy individuals who want to preserve, manage, and distribute their fortune. This could not be further from the truth.
How to Write a Will
A will is a legal document that expresses your wishes when you can no longer do so. Writing a will means writing down what will happen to your property, pets, and minor children, if you have any, in the event of your death. In addition to being extremely specific and technical in this document, you will also need to name someone who can interpret your will. This person is called a trustee or executor, and they can help ensure that your final wishes are met.
If you want to leave special funds behind for family members, you can also use your will to indicate the existence of one or more trust. Sometimes, a will can serve as a backup for trusts, which are additional assets and agreements that you can include in your estate plan.
When writing your will, you should include:
- The name of your executor
- The designated guardians of any minor children you have
- Plans for paying debts and taxes
- Who you want to care for your pets
- Information about trusts
You should also keep in mind that there are certain kinds of property that you cannot leave behind in a will. Contrary to common belief, you should also leave your final arrangements out of your will. Insurance accounts, retirement funds, and even funeral plans all need additional documentation, which is one reason why having a Dothan wills and estates lawyer is such a good idea.
How An Attorney Can Help
The assets you leave behind do not immediately go to your beneficiaries. Instead, they are taxed and sometimes put through a process called probate, which verifies the authenticity of your will and estate plan and often results in more fees. Planning your estate with an attorney (and sometimes a tax advisor, as well) can help you maximize what you leave behind.
Our team at The Law Offices Of Adam E. Parker can help you:
- Communicate your wishes clearly
- Avoid mistakes
- Minimize taxes
- Adjust your estate plan when circumstances change or time passes
Even if you decide to write your will yourself, you should have our lawyers take a look at it. If you are ready to plan your estate, we can come up with a customized solution that works for you.