The role of the attorney in the estate planning process is two-fold:
- Review how the assets are titled and advise whether they should be held in trust, in survivorship with one or more people, with a transfer on death designation (or “payable on death”); or solely in the person’s name with no beneficiary.
- Review the person’s assets to discuss how to minimize taxes for themselves and their heirs.
A little planning can save thousands of dollars, either in administrative costs or in tax savings. I use a sliding scale for fees for estate planning, making it affordable to plan for estates of all sizes. No matter the size of your estate, it is worthwhile to review your assets with a professional. Those who have substantial net worth or stock and bond portfolios usually benefit from the services of a financial planner in addition to a review by an attorney.
At the Law Office of Joanne F. Gall, Attorney at Law, Ltd. you will be guided in your estate planning by an OSBA Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Trusts. Most attorneys are not knowledgeable about taxes, which is an integral piece of the estate planning process. I have been representing clients in tax matters since the beginning of my career starting in 1979.
You do not do estate planning for yourself, you do it so that there will be the least amount of stress and work for the loved ones you leave behind.