4 Reasons to Hire an Estate Planning Attorney

Most people don’t want to think about death, and this is one of the main reasons why estate planning often gets put off for prolonged periods of time. Another reason people put off this important job is because they think that estate planning is only for the very wealthy. According to Caring.com, over 30% of people without a will don’t believe they have enough wealth to leave behind. In reality, this is a crucial type of future planning that everyone needs to take care of, no matter how much money you have and no matter how uncomfortable it makes you. An estate planning attorney can help you with this challenging task. Here are a few benefits of working with this professional.

1. Estate Planning Knowledge

You should work with a lawyer because they will have the estate planning knowledge necessary to get your affairs in order. There are a lot of legal details that go into even a simple will with few assets. If you have more assets or a good bit of wealth, it’s even more important that you have your details in order. This can prevent any confusion or legal issues in the future when you pass away.

2. Professional Advice

Another important service that an estate planning attorney can provide to you is professional advice. Estate planning involves many moving parts and one size doesn’t fit all. This professional will be able to offer you advice based on your particular set of circumstances. They may be able to answer complicated questions for you and help guide you on what decisions would be best for your wealth, assets, and other topics.

3. Industry Resources and Connections

In addition to the above-mentioned benefits, an attorney will also have access to industry resources that can make estate planning easier and simplified. They will have access to professional connections in other industries that may be able to assist you.

4. A Helping Hand Along the Way

One of the most beneficial things that an attorney can offer you is a helping hand along the way. For many people, estate planning is an emotional task. You are forced to take inventory of your entire life and face the reality of death. These are heavy topics to handle. These professionals have spent years helping people walk this path and they can help you too.

These are just a few of the benefits you’ll see when you hire an estate planning attorney. If you’re looking for legal professionals in your area, please contact us today at Ketlinski Law Office, PLLC.

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What to Know About Hiring Probate Attorneys

A lot of people want to leave a legacy behind. Unfortunately, some don’t think that they will be leaving anything worthwhile. According to Caring.com, 30% of those who don’t have a valid will feel that way. Probate attorneys can help, but here are some things to know about hiring them.

They Can Help in a Lot of Ways

One of the best reasons to hire probate attorneys is to help you get access to the estate of the deceased a lot faster. They can reduce the time it takes to do the process from 24 months to as few as three months, as seen by our team. That’ll reduce a lot of stress among family members. When it comes to wills and estates, there can be a lot of infighting and conflict. An estate attorney can keep that to a minimum and prevent any power grabs by a particular family member. This is another way that they can smooth out the process and keep anyone from possibly dragging it out.

They Protect the Estate From Legal Claims

Any attorney you hire will have one other specific mission: protect the estate from any claims against it from other parties. Let’s say that someone wasn’t included in the will, and they feel that they should have been. The attorney will be a party that is fighting for the people already on the will, so that can speed matters along.

They Will Keep Your Paperwork and Finances Organized

There are several other things that they can do. They will make sure that all the paperwork has been properly done and submitted. They will resolve all debts and keep the estate from being rejected by the probate court. Most of all, they can help you save money, since the probate court can be very convoluted, and you don’t want to make a mistake and wind up having to pay more than you should have.

Dealing with things like wills and the handling of estates can be very emotional. There can be a lot of friction, and things can get heated. Having a member of the law there can help soothe tempers and get things back on track. That peace of mind will be worth it. Are you looking for probate attorneys in your area? We’re a firm that does all sorts of estate planning, elder law, and living wills. Contact Ketlinski Law Office, PLLC today to learn more.

How to Find the Right Estate Planning Attorney for You

Obviously no one wants to think too much about death, but ignoring future planning tasks surrounding your death is a big mistake. Estate planning consists of all of the plans you need to make for your affairs to be handled once you pass away. Taking care of estate planning early in life is helpful for your family or friends who will attempt to handle your end-of-life details. According to Caring, about 60% of Americans have a retirement account, but only about 30% have an estate plan in place. An estate planning attorney can help you. Here are a few tips on choosing a good estate planning lawyer.

Ask Friends and Family for References

Word of mouth is still a great form of advertising. You should talk to friends and family members who have already successfully completed their estate planning. Ask them who they used and who they would not recommend. Sometimes it’s important to know who to avoid as well.

Read Reviews

Review sites can be extremely helpful when you are looking for a new business or service. Law firms get reviewed just like any other business. Look for reviews on reputable review sites such as Google reviews or legal review sites.

Schedule a Consultation

The really only tried and true way to know if you’ll like an attorney is to meet with them personally. You can schedule a consultation with an estate planning attorney in your area. These professionals will sit down with you discuss your goals and explain how their services work.

During the consultation, you should ask plenty of questions. You’ll want to know how much experience they have, and how long they’ve been doing estate planning. You’ll also want to get specific information concerning payments and how fees are handled.

Be Prepared

When you finally decide on an estate planning attorney, you need to be prepared with your information and the goals you hope for them to assist you with. There will be some work needed on your part to collect the necessary documents and information to pass on to the lawyer. They will be able to take this information and create a secure estate plan for you.

If you’re ready to get started on estate planning, please contact our law office today at Ketlinski Law Office, PLLC. Our team of legal professionals is ready to assist you.

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3 Common Estate Planning Myths Debunked

Estate planning is a crucial aspect of planning for the future. Many individuals tend to overlook estate planning due to its association with contemplating one’s mortality and organizing one’s affairs. However, in today’s world, an increasing number of people are recognizing the importance of ensuring their affairs are in order to ease the burden on their loved ones. According to Caring.com, a leading online destination for caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, younger Americans are now 63% more likely to have an estate plan in place compared to three years ago. In this article, we will debunk some common myths surrounding estate planning.

Myth 1: Estate Planning Is Only for Wealthy Individuals

This misconception often arises from the term “estate” being linked to large properties and extensive assets. However, in the context of estate planning, “estate” encompasses all your personal affairs that need attention after your passing. This can include your financial resources, property, assets, and even legal guardianship over others. Additionally, it pertains to any legal obligations, responsibilities, or details associated with your name.

After your passing, all these elements must be addressed, resolved, distributed, or supervised. Failing to engage in estate planning can lead to unnecessary complications for your family. Therefore, engaging an estate planning lawyer now is a considerate step toward ensuring your family’s well-being.

Myth 2: I Don’t Need an Estate Planning Lawyer

Many individuals make the grave error of assuming they can avoid the expense of hiring a lawyer for estate planning. However, the realm of estate planning and asset distribution is intricately entwined with numerous legal intricacies. To ensure that all aspects are adequately covered, you require the expertise of a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer.

Myth 3: Estate Planning Is Only for the Elderly

The truth is that estate planning is relevant for individuals of all ages. No one can predict when they will pass away, making it advisable to address this aspect of your financial and personal life as early as possible. Early planning allows for periodic reviews to accommodate life changes such as marriage or the birth of children. A skilled estate planning lawyer will guide you through these adjustments.

If you are seeking a local estate planning lawyer, please do not hesitate to contact Ketlinksi Law Office, PLLC. We would be delighted to assist you in this crucial matter.

How to Talk to Loved Ones About Estate Planning

Talking to a loved one about estate planning can be a challenging and emotional topic. Many people don’t like to discuss the topic of a loved one’s mortality, but it’s essential to ensure that your loved one’s estate is handled exactly how they would like. Follow these tips and tricks when discussing this topic.

Pick a Time and Place

There’s a time and place for everything. Taking your loved one to an estate planning lawyer and expecting them to be open to the conversation immediately is not the way to do that. Instead, choose an ideal time, such as mid-afternoon. This should be a private conversation, not one held in a restaurant or at a family get-together. Consider meeting with a family member at their home for brunch to discuss that it’s time to start estate planning.

Always Show Compassion

Talking about estate planning forces someone to confront their own mortality. This can be challenging and upsetting for anyone who has not yet faced this inevitable fact. Because of that, it’s essential always to show compassion. Be considerate if a loved one is not ready to discuss the topic, and ensure you work with a compassionate estate planning lawyer. You don’t want this to be an upsetting time.

Don’t Mention Inheritance

When planning an estate with a loved one, asking about your or other people’s inheritance can be tempting. You may want to discuss the details of that and give your opinions. However, it’s important to remember that this should be your loved one’s decision. Instead of asking about inheritances, encourage them to sit with an experienced attorney or unbiased party to discuss them.

Outline Its Importance

Instead, it’s essential to focus on how important estate planning is. Remind your loved one that everyone should take the time to plan their estate properly. This applies to everyone of every age because we never know what will happen. Proper planning can instantly resolve family disputes long before they happen. Mention statistics to show them the importance. For example, according to LegalZoom, 77% of American adults believe that estate planning is important for everyone, regardless of their wealth.

Working with an estate planning lawyer can help you learn how to broach this topic with a loved one. We have a team of dedicated, compassionate professionals that will work with you and your loved one. Contact us at Ketlinski Law Office, PLLC if you need help discussing this delicate topic.

5 Reasons Estate Planning Is Good for Your Mental Health

Estate planning is an important part of life that a lot of people ignore. According to LegalZoom, only 18% of Americans over the age of 55 have an estate plan. Here are five benefits you can enjoy when you hire an estate planning attorney.

1. Avoid Family Problems

Disputes among family members are common when an estate is being settled, but it doesn’t have to be that way. When you have a will and a thorough estate plan, you can designate beneficiaries so nobody has to fight over what they’re getting from your estate.

2. Protect Young Children

The loss of a loved one can be especially difficult for young children and the guardianship process can be complicated. Designating somebody as the legal guardian of young children in the event that their parents pass can make things a lot easier.

3. Take Care of Everything Beforehand

You don’t want to spend some of the last days of your life figuring out your estate plan to make things easier for your family. Taking the time to work with an attorney now means you don’t have to worry about estate planning later on. This allows you to focus your energy on spending time with loved ones.

4. Protect Beneficiaries

There are a lot of potential issues that can arise when it comes to settling an estate. An estate planning attorney can help prevent your family members from having to pay expensive lawyer fees. You can also make a plan to minimize the taxes your family has to pay on your estate.

5. Enjoy Peace of Mind

With everything going on in life, it’s easy to worry. Stress can cause a lot of physical and mental health problems, so planning your estate is a good way to enjoy some peace of mind while you’re still healthy. There’s no reason to waste time worrying about what could happen. You don’t have to with a good estate plan!

So many people go through life without an estate plan, but even a simple estate plan can save your family and loved ones so much trouble. If you don’t have an estate plan, call Ketlinski Law Office, PLLC to connect with an estate planning attorney to start working on your will.

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Why Young People Are Interested in Wills

According to Caring.com, individuals in the 18 to 34-year-old category are more likely to have a written will compared to individuals who are aged 35 to 54. This is interesting and may have you wondering why younger people are working with estate planners. Read on to learn some of the reasons why this is the case.

The COVID-19 Pandemic Caused Young People to Face Uncertain Health

One of the reasons why young people have become more interested in wills is because they faced the COVID-19 pandemic. When the pandemic first started, no one knew how many people would be affected and why certain people would face worse symptoms. As such, many younger individuals started to learn about and draft wills in order to be properly prepared.

Young People Have Experienced Fallout From Their Loved Ones Not Having a Will

Another reason why younger individuals are becoming more interested in wills is that they may have seen or personally experienced the fallout when a loved one died without a will. Dying without a will can cause a lot of turmoil in a family, as family members fight over money and possessions. These types of cases can wind up in court, where lawyers can get the bulk of the estate and leave the family with very little. Younger individuals who have lived this know the importance of creating a will.

Young People Want to Choose Where Their Money Is Going to Go

The final reason why young people are becoming more interested in wills is that the younger generation may leave their estate to an organization or foundation, instead of their family. This is especially true with younger individuals who don’t have a partner or any children. Leaving a will allows the individual to state what happens to their belongings if they pass away without a spouse, partner, or children.

Everyone should have a will. A will helps to ensure that your possessions, including your bank account, home, car, jewelry, art, or other belongings, are left to the individuals or groups that are important to you. A will also helps your loved one to understand what your final wishes are. Estate planners can work with you to create a will, regardless of what age group you fall into. Reach out to Ketlinski Law Office, PLLC to schedule an appointment to have a will created.

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5 Questions to Ask at Your Next Estate Planning Consultation

What will happen to your estate after you’re gone? It can be difficult to ask yourself this question, but planning for the future is the best thing you can do for your loved ones. According to Legal Zoom, over 40% of young adults don’t know what’s written in their parents’ wills. Don’t let your family wonder about your wishes. Ask these questions when you talk to estate planning attorneys to ensure that you’re prepared for the future.

1. What’s Included in an Estate Plan?

Don’t make assumptions about what is and isn’t included in an estate plan. Check with your attorneys to confirm that your plan includes important documents. The documents that should be a part of your estate plan include a will, a living will, and power of attorney. If you have minor children, your plan should also include guardianship documents.

2. Do You Handle Probate?

When a will is contested, probate courts must approve the documents before dividing assets. Ideally, your estate planning lawyer should include probate in their practice. Working with an attorney familiar with probate proceedings can prevent your assets from being tied up in court.

3. How Will You Keep My Estate Plan Current?

Many people begin working with estate planning attorneys when they’re still fairly young. Your assets may change over time. Confirm that your lawyer can adapt to these changes and update your documents as needed.

4. Who Will Execute My Estate Plan?

The executor of an estate is the person who will carry out the wishes you’ve outlined in your will and other documents. Talk with your attorneys about how your plan will be executed. Don’t be afraid to ask them tough questions about what the estate process will look like.

5. How Will My Estate Be Taxed?

Creating an estate plan helps ensure that your wishes are honored after you’re gone. That’s why it’s wise to talk with your attorney about how taxes will affect your plan. While there’s no federal inheritance tax in the United States, some states have estate and inheritance taxes. Ask your attorney about these taxes and any taxes associated with real estate transfers.

Working with estate planning attorneys can give you peace of mind, especially if you ask the right questions. It can be hard to think about what will happen after you pass away, but tackling these problems while you’re still here is worthwhile. Contact Ketlinksi Law Office, PLLC today to schedule an estate planning consultation.

When Is the Right Time to Go Over Your Parents’ Will?

Estate planners often face a question that is hard to answer. Many people with elderly parents have no idea if their parents have a will and if they should ask about it. According to Legal Zoom, about 30% of people don’t know if their parents have a will. Estate planners recommend that you find the time to sit down with your parents and discuss it. Of course, the next question is, when is the right time to talk about it? Here are some suggestions.

When You Become More Responsible With Caring for Your Parents

Talking to your parents about their will is less about learning what they plan to leave you and more about their overall plans. Most estate planners that help people create a will also create other documents for them simultaneously. Documents like a health care power of attorney are often drawn up, which you need to be aware of.

During a Casual Conversation

There is never really a good time to blurt out questions about a will. It’s much better to bring it up during a conversation by using an example like, “I met with my estate planners, and they helped me to write my will. Is that something you’ve done?” By easing into the conversation, you won’t put your parents on the defense. Sharing a story about your own experience will open the door to asking questions.

Not After a Crisis Has Happened

The worst possible time to ask about a will is during a crisis. It’d be best if you had a conversation before something unexpected happened. Inquiring about a will after a medical emergency can be viewed as crass behavior by your parents and other family members.

Asking your parents about their will and other estate planning can be uncomfortable, but you should talk about it. You can take the stress out of the situation by being a good listener and doing your best to accept their plans. It’s far better to deal with the discomfort of having a conversation than to find out they didn’t plan their estate.

Learn more about estate planning and how to speak to your parents about planning their estate by connecting with professional estate planners. Get in touch with our team at Ketlinski Law Office to start planning your will now.

What’s the Difference Between Wills and Living Trusts?

There are key differences between wills and living trusts. For the 40% to 50% of people that don’t have wills, according to Legal Zoom, it can be difficult to understand the difference between living trusts and wills. Below are some differences that can help you decide which is best for you and your family.

Wills Are for After You Pass Away

With a will, your assets are distributed according to your wishes after you pass. With a living trust, your assets can be distributed while alive or after you die. Many wills are written with the help of family and a family lawyer and are important at any age, especially if you’re married with children.

A Living Trust May Avoid Probate

Probate is the legal process of distributing a person’s assets after they pass. If you have a will, your assets will go through probate, which can be costly and time-consuming. A living trust can help avoid probate because the assets in the trust bypass probate court. Unfortunately, many families that depend on inheritances are unaware of the probate process and how it can delay access to assets.

You May Need a Will if You Have Minor Children

If you have minor children, you’ll want to appoint a guardian in your will, which is the person who will care for your children if something happens to you. Without a will, the court will decide who will care for your children. Wills are important to prepare for an accident or other unexpected reasons for passing while your children are young. Many parents put off creating a will because they don’t want to think about passing, however, it’s one of the most important things you can do for your children.

A Living Trust May Help You Qualify for Medicaid

If you’re over the age of 65 or have a disability, you may need long-term care. This care can be expensive, so it’s helpful if you qualify for Medicaid. If you have a will, your assets may not be available to help you pay for long-term care. However, if you have a living trust, your assets can be used to help pay for long-term care without affecting your eligibility for Medicaid.

These are just some of the many differences between wills and living trusts. Speak to a family lawyer, like us at Ketlinski Law Office, for more information on which choice is best for you and how these legal documents can help you and your family prepare for end-of-life planning.