Estate Planning Washington, D.C.
Proper Estate Preparation in Washington DC
Estate planning involves taking account all your assets and deciding what will be done with them in the event of your death.
While no one wants to think about death or end-of-life matters, failing to create an estate plan may cause serious problems for you and your loved ones in the future. As Washington, DC, probate attorneys, we know the stress that comes with the failure to establish estate plans before death. Proper estate planning not only puts you in charge of your assets and finances, but spares your loved ones the pain, money, and frustration of having to manage your estate when you are unable to. Washington, DC has specific laws regarding estate planning, in which we are experts in.
Why should you use a lawyer for estate planning?
Click here to read some common questions asked about estate planning.
Using Washington, DC’s expert legal team like the attorneys at Wesley Clarke Legal can make it as easy as possible to organize your assets and dispense them to the rightful parties with a legally binding last will and testament in the event of your death. If you’re like most people, estate planning is not exactly at the top of your priority list. After all, what healthy person wants to start planning for death?
The fact is, no matter your current condition, it can be beneficial to get your house in order as a sort of insurance policy after you’re gone. Here are a few reasons why:
The areas of estate planning include:
- It makes it much easier for loved ones to handle your passing when it occurs. Uncertainty over estate taxes and whether or not assets need to be handled in Probate can draw out grief over a much longer time.
- You can discuss your plans with friends and family members before it becomes necessary. It’s much easier to settle estate disputes when your heirs and beneficiaries understand their responsibilities beforehand.
- Providing for incapacity: If you become incapacitated in any way, you may not be able to deal with your financial affairs. Ensuring that you have legal protections in such an event can save your loved ones a great deal of trouble and ensure that you have control over your assets and finances.
- Avoiding Probate: If you fail to establish a proper will and estate, the courts can sort out your affairs for you. Doing so can often be very harmful to your loved ones and others, since they may lose out on treasured and needed assets.
- Providing for Minor Children: If you pass away before your children have reached adulthood, you may need to ensure that they are brought up by the person or people you deem right. Ensure that the right people are given the tools they need to care for your children if you are unable to do so.
Drafting a will and assigning an executor
Your last will and testament serves as a written document that clears up any potential ambiguity about the assets you leave behind after you die. These assets can be physical property like homes, cars, property, art, and more, or financial assets like investments and bank accounts.
A will contains instructions concerning what to do with this property, called your “estate,” as well as how to handle custody of any minor children left without parents. From a legal standpoint, a will is verified by a court after your death in a process called “Probate.”
In your will, you’ll be given the opportunity to name an executor, the person who you trust to ensure the conditions of your will are met. If you fail to name an executor, one will be named in Probate.
Finally, your will allows you to set up a trust to dispense assets to your loved ones that goes into effect either during your lifetime (a living trust) or after your death (testamentary trust). The person in charge of this trust—the trustee—should be named in your will as well.
Awarding power of attorney
If you become incapacitated in any way, you may not be able to deal with your financial affairs. Ensuring you have legal protections in such an event can save your loved ones a great deal of trouble and ensure you have control over your assets and finances.
Assigning a trusted family member or other loved one as a durable power of attorney (POA) means entrusting them with important decisions at the end of your life should you not be in a state to make these decisions yourself.
If you fail to establish a proper will for your estate, the courts will sort out your affairs for you using a process called Probate. In Probate, your estate is broken down at the discretion of the courts, giving you very little control over your own assets. Doing so can often be very harmful to your loved ones and others, since they may lose out on treasured and needed assets.
Providing for minor children
If you pass away before your children have reached adulthood, you may need to ensure they are brought up by the person or people you deem right. Ensure the right people are given the tools they need to care for your children if you are unable to do so.
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- We can handle a wide range of legal matters effectively
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