Estate Planning Lawyers Near Me

If you’re searching for estate planning lawyers near you, you’ve come to the right place. At Jeremy Eveland Law, we understand the importance of thorough and comprehensive estate planning to protect your assets and ensure your loved ones are taken care of. In this article, we will delve into the various aspects of estate planning and address common concerns that may arise. From creating wills and trusts to navigating probate processes, our team of experienced attorneys is here to provide you with the guidance and reassurance you need. So don’t hesitate to give us a call and schedule a consultation today. Your peace of mind is just a phone call away.

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What is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is the process of arranging and managing the disposal of an individual’s assets in the event of their death or incapacity. It involves creating a comprehensive plan that addresses various aspects such as the distribution of assets, healthcare decisions, and the care of minor children. Estate planning ensures that your wishes are carried out, your loved ones are taken care of, and potential conflicts are avoided.

Importance of Estate Planning

estate planning is crucial for several reasons. First and foremost, it allows you to have control over the distribution of your assets after your passing. You can specify how your property, money, and other valuables are to be divided among your beneficiaries. Without a well-drafted estate plan, the distribution of your assets may be determined by state laws, which may not align with your wishes.

Another important aspect of estate planning is ensuring the care and well-being of minor children or disabled family members. By designating guardianship and establishing trusts, you can provide for their financial security and protect their interests.

Additionally, estate planning allows you to minimize the potential tax burden on your estate. By utilizing various strategies and tools, you can reduce estate taxes and ensure that a greater portion of your assets goes to your loved ones and charitable causes.

What Does an Estate Planning Lawyer Do?

An estate planning lawyer is a legal professional who specializes in assisting individuals in creating and implementing a comprehensive estate plan. They have in-depth knowledge and expertise in estate planning laws and regulations and can provide valuable guidance throughout the entire process.

One of the primary responsibilities of an estate planning lawyer is to help clients assess their assets and liabilities and determine the best strategies for asset protection and distribution. They work closely with their clients to understand their goals and objectives and create a plan tailored to their specific needs.

An estate planning lawyer also assists with the preparation and execution of essential legal documents such as wills, trusts, power of attorney, and healthcare proxies. They ensure that these documents comply with the applicable laws and accurately reflect the client’s wishes.

Furthermore, estate planning lawyers provide ongoing support to their clients, helping them navigate any changes or challenges that may arise in their lives. They frequently review and update estate plans to ensure that they remain current and effective.

Benefits of Hiring an Estate Planning Lawyer

While it may be tempting to attempt estate planning on your own, there are several benefits to hiring an estate planning lawyer. Firstly, an experienced lawyer can provide invaluable knowledge and expertise in navigating the complexities of estate planning laws. They understand the legal requirements and can help you avoid any pitfalls or mistakes that could render your plan invalid.

Moreover, an estate planning lawyer can offer objective advice and guidance. They can help you analyze your assets, assess potential risks, and develop strategies to protect your estate. They act as a trusted advisor, ensuring that your wishes are properly documented and executed.

Additionally, an estate planning lawyer can save you time and effort. Crafting an effective estate plan requires attention to detail and a thorough understanding of the legal process. By enlisting the assistance of a lawyer, you can have peace of mind knowing that your plan is being handled by a professional, allowing you to focus on other important matters in your life.

Lastly, an estate planning lawyer can provide ongoing support and assistance. They can help you navigate life changes such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, or the acquisition of new assets. They can also guide you through the probate process and help your loved ones carry out your wishes in a timely manner.

Finding Estate Planning Lawyers Near Me

When looking for an estate planning lawyer near you, there are several sources to consider. Here are some helpful avenues to explore:

Recommendations from Family and Friends

One of the best ways to find a reliable estate planning lawyer is through personal recommendations. Reach out to family members, friends, or colleagues who have undergone estate planning and inquire about their experiences. They can provide valuable insights and recommend lawyers they trust.

Online Directories

Online directories dedicated to legal services are an excellent resource for finding estate planning lawyers in your area. These directories often provide comprehensive profiles of lawyers, including their areas of expertise, qualifications, and contact information. You can easily search for lawyers who specialize in estate planning and read reviews from previous clients.

Local Bar Associations

Your local bar association is another valuable resource for finding estate planning lawyers near you. Bar associations often maintain directories of attorneys practicing in different fields, including estate planning. These directories can help you find reputable lawyers who are licensed and in good standing with the bar.

Professional Associations

Professional associations such as the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys or the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys can be excellent sources for locating estate planning lawyers. These associations have stringent membership requirements and often provide resources to help the public find qualified and experienced lawyers in their area.

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Qualities to Look for in an Estate Planning Lawyer

When selecting an estate planning lawyer, it is important to consider certain qualities that can greatly impact your experience and the outcome of your estate plan. Here are some key qualities to look for:

Experience and Expertise

Choose a lawyer who specializes in estate planning and has extensive experience in the field. An experienced lawyer will have a deep understanding of the legal intricacies and potential challenges that may arise during the estate planning process. They will be able to address your unique needs and provide informed guidance.

Communication Skills

Effective communication is crucial when working with an estate planning lawyer. Look for a lawyer who listens attentively to your concerns, explains complex legal concepts in a clear and understandable manner, and promptly responds to your inquiries. Clear and open communication will ensure that you fully understand the estate planning process and that your wishes are properly reflected in your plan.


It is important to choose a lawyer who is accessible and responsive. Estate planning involves thorough discussions and ongoing collaboration. Select a lawyer who prioritizes your needs and is available to assist you throughout the process. This will ensure that you receive timely guidance and that your estate plan remains up to date.

Reputation and Reviews

Research the reputation of an estate planning lawyer before deciding to work with them. Read client testimonials and reviews to gain insight into their past clients’ experiences. You can also consult online legal forums and review sites for unbiased opinions about the lawyer’s professionalism, expertise, and overall satisfaction level of their clients.

Fees and Payment Options

Discuss the lawyer’s fee structure and payment options upfront to ensure that it aligns with your budget and expectations. Some lawyers charge a flat fee for estate planning services, while others may bill on an hourly basis. Make sure you understand the terms and scope of the fees before moving forward.

Initial Consultation with an Estate Planning Lawyer

Once you have found a potential estate planning lawyer, it is important to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your needs and evaluate their suitability. Here are key elements of an initial consultation:

Preparing for the Meeting

Before the consultation, gather any relevant documents or information that may be helpful for the lawyer to assess your situation. This may include details of your assets, liabilities, current estate plan (if any), and any specific concerns or goals you have. Being prepared will help make the most of your meeting.

Discussion of Goals and Objectives

During the consultation, the lawyer will ask you about your goals and objectives for the estate plan. They will listen to your concerns, answer any questions you may have, and offer advice based on their expertise. Be open and honest about your intentions and any specific wishes you have for the distribution of your assets.

Assessment of Assets and Liabilities

The lawyer will review the details of your assets and liabilities to understand the complexity of your estate. This information will play a crucial role in determining the most appropriate estate planning strategies for your situation. Ensure that you provide accurate and complete information to facilitate this assessment.

Explanation of Estate Planning Documents

The lawyer will explain the various estate planning documents and their importance in achieving your goals. They will educate you on the purpose and function of documents such as a last will and testament, living trust, power of attorney, healthcare proxy, and living will. It is essential to fully understand the implications of each document and how they work together to create a comprehensive estate plan.

Types of Estate Planning Documents

Estate planning involves the preparation and execution of various legal documents. Here are some essential documents commonly used in estate planning:

Last Will and Testament

A last will and testament is a legal document that outlines how you want your assets to be distributed after your death. It allows you to appoint an executor who will oversee the distribution of your assets, specify beneficiaries, and address other important matters such as guardianship of minor children.

Living Trust

A living trust is a legal arrangement in which you transfer your assets to a trust managed by a trustee. While you are alive, you retain control over the trust and its assets. Upon your death or incapacity, the trust assets are then distributed according to the terms you have established. A living trust can help avoid probate, maintain privacy, and provide for the management of assets in case of incapacity.

Power of Attorney

A power of attorney document grants someone (referred to as the agent or attorney-in-fact) the authority to act on your behalf in legal and financial matters. This can be particularly important if you become incapacitated and are unable to make decisions for yourself. The power of attorney ensures that someone you trust can manage your affairs and make important decisions on your behalf.

Healthcare Proxy

A healthcare proxy is a legal document that designates someone to make medical decisions for you in the event that you are unable to do so yourself. This person, known as a healthcare agent or proxy, ensures that your healthcare wishes are followed and makes decisions based on your best interests. It is important to choose someone you trust to fulfill this role.

Living Will

A living will, also known as an advance healthcare directive, outlines your preferences for medical treatment and interventions in life-threatening situations. It specifies your wishes regarding life support, resuscitation, and other medical interventions. A living will ensures that your healthcare providers and loved ones are aware of your preferences and can make decisions accordingly.

Special Considerations in Estate Planning

Estate planning can present unique challenges and considerations depending on individual circumstances. Here are some common special considerations to address in your estate plan:

Blended Families

If you have a blended family, meaning you and your partner have children from previous relationships, it is crucial to carefully consider the distribution of assets to ensure fairness and avoid potential conflicts. An estate planning lawyer can help you navigate these complexities and develop a plan that addresses the unique needs of your blended family.

Minor Children

If you have minor children, it is important to designate guardianship in your estate plan. This ensures that your children are cared for by someone you trust in the event of your death or incapacity. Discuss your preferences for the upbringing and education of your children with your estate planning lawyer to ensure your wishes are properly documented.

Charitable Giving

If you have philanthropic goals and wish to include charitable giving in your estate plan, an estate planning lawyer can help you structure your donations in the most tax-efficient manner. They can assist you in establishing charitable trusts, foundations, or other giving vehicles to maximize the impact of your charitable contributions.

Business Succession Planning

If you own a business, it is essential to include business succession planning in your estate plan. This ensures a smooth transition of ownership and management in case of your death or incapacity. An estate planning lawyer with expertise in business succession planning can help you develop a plan that protects the future of your business.

Updating and Reviewing your Estate Plan

Once you have established an estate plan, it is important to regularly review and update it to reflect any changes in your life circumstances or goals. Here are some key considerations for updating your estate plan:

Life Events that May Require Updates

Life events such as marriage, divorce, birth of a child, death of a beneficiary, acquisition or sale of assets, or significant changes in your financial situation should prompt a review of your estate plan. These events may necessitate changes in beneficiary designations, guardianship appointments, or asset distribution strategies.

Frequent Reviews and Updates

It is generally recommended to review your estate plan every three to five years or whenever a significant life event occurs. Regular reviews ensure that your estate plan remains current and effective. Consult with your estate planning lawyer to assess whether any updates or adjustments are necessary.

Working with your Estate Planning Lawyer

Your estate planning lawyer should be involved in the review and updating of your estate plan. They can provide guidance and expertise, ensuring that any changes align with your overall goals and comply with legal requirements. By working collaboratively with your lawyer, you can maintain a comprehensive and up-to-date estate plan.

Common Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid

To ensure the success of your estate plan, it is important to avoid common pitfalls and mistakes. Here are three common estate planning mistakes to steer clear of:

Failure to Create an Estate Plan

Perhaps the biggest mistake one can make is not having an estate plan at all. Failing to create an estate plan means that your assets will be distributed according to state laws, which may not align with your wishes. An estate plan, even a basic one, gives you control over the fate of your assets and provides for your loved ones.

Not Updating your Estate Plan

Another common mistake is failing to update your estate plan as your circumstances change. Failing to account for significant life events, such as marriage, divorce, or the birth of a child, can lead to unintended consequences or disputes. Regularly review and update your estate plan to ensure that it accurately reflects your current wishes and circumstances.

Leaving Out Key Assets or Beneficiaries

Carefully consider all of your assets when creating your estate plan. Failing to include certain assets can result in them not being distributed as intended. Similarly, excluding beneficiaries can cause strain and potential disputes among family members. Take the time to thoroughly identify all assets and beneficiaries and address them in your estate plan.

Estate Taxes and Minimizing Tax Liability

Understanding estate taxes and minimizing tax liability is an important aspect of estate planning. Here are key points to consider:

Understanding Estate Taxes

Estate taxes are taxes imposed on the transfer of an individual’s assets upon their death. The tax is calculated based on the total value of the estate. It is important to understand the laws and regulations regarding estate taxes in your jurisdiction to effectively plan for their impact.

Strategies for Minimizing Estate Taxes

An estate planning lawyer can help you explore various strategies to minimize your estate tax liability. Some common strategies include gifting assets during your lifetime, establishing irrevocable life insurance trusts, utilizing charitable giving strategies, and creating family limited partnerships. These strategies can help reduce the taxable value of your estate and ensure that a greater portion of your assets goes to your intended beneficiaries.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a will and a living trust?

A will and a living trust are two different estate planning documents. A will is a legal document that outlines your wishes for the distribution of your assets after your death. It goes into effect upon your death and goes through the probate process.

On the other hand, a living trust is created during your lifetime and allows you to transfer your assets into the trust. You can serve as the trustee and maintain control over the assets while you are alive. Upon your death or incapacity, a successor trustee takes over and distributes the assets according to your wishes, avoiding the probate process. Living trusts are often used to streamline the distribution process and provide privacy.

Do I need an estate planning lawyer if I have a small estate?

Even if you have a small estate, consulting with an estate planning lawyer can still be beneficial. Estate planning involves more than just the distribution of assets. A lawyer can help ensure that your wishes are properly documented, address any complex legal issues, and provide guidance on issues such as guardianship or healthcare decisions. They can also help you explore strategies to minimize taxes and protect your assets.

How often should I review and update my estate plan?

It is generally recommended to review and update your estate plan every three to five years or whenever a significant life event occurs. Regular reviews ensure that your plan remains current and effective. However, certain life events may warrant more frequent reviews, such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, or the acquisition or sale of significant assets. Consult with your estate planning lawyer to determine the ideal frequency of review for your specific circumstances.

In conclusion, estate planning is a crucial step towards ensuring the orderly distribution of your assets and the protection of your loved ones. By consulting with an experienced estate planning lawyer, you can create a comprehensive plan that reflects your wishes and minimizes potential conflicts. Remember to review and update your estate plan regularly to adapt to changes in your life. Begin the process today and give yourself the peace of mind that comes with a well-crafted estate plan.

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