There are no laws that require you to hire an estate attorney. In fact, we all have the right to defend ourselves in court, hammer out our own agreements, and plan for the future of our loved ones. To quote Abraham Lincoln, though, “He who represents himself has a fool for a client.”
Whether you are concerned about your own estate or working on someone else’s, here are some powerful (and not necessarily obvious) tips for knowing when you should engage legal counsel:
- If there is a complicated tax situation regarding the estate, such as a dispute with the IRS regarding past taxes
- The wording of the will or trust is unclear
- There are disputed claims, such a relative who comes out of the woodwork claiming assets as his own
- A significant amount of property left to a minor who needs a guardian
- If the estate does not have enough assets to retire all the debts left behind
- Problems with disputed debts, such as the sale of real property that has not settled.
Acting as Your Own Attorney
It’s not as though you are incapable of setting up a will or trust, it’s just that working with an attorney who has set up thousands of them might just make you feel more confident about how your assets are to be handled upon your passing. A few of the advantages of working with a trained inheritance attorney are:
- He or she provides a fresh set of eyes and can look your situation over and pick out potential problems that you might not have caught.
- He or she has the technical ability to do what you need done and save you time and agony regarding the process.
- An attorney can tell you about the ever-changing laws regarding inheritances and other estate planning concerns and alert you if/when you need to revise or amend your plan.
- An attorney will look at the issues at hand with clear eyes. He or she has no stake – financial or emotional – in a client’s estate.
An Eye for Detail
Simply because your attorney is so accustomed to working with estates, he or she is far more likely to pinpoint issues that need to be addressed and points that a novice might miss. For help getting all your inheritance ducks in a row and for the peace of mind you need and deserve, please call Christopher B. Johnson, Attorney at Law, at (888) 838-8771 for a private consultation about your strategy.