Death is an unavoidable aspect of the human experience. Fortunately, you can prepare for it by hiring an estate planning attorney. An attorney can help ensure that everything is in order and that your beneficiaries will receive your assets when you pass. While some people attempt to handle estate planning tasks themselves, hiring an attorney is the most efficient way to achieve the desired results. Read on to learn more about how you may benefit from hiring an estate planning attorney in Pennsylvania.
Benefits of Hiring an Estate Planning Attorney
An estate planning attorney understands the complex legal issues regarding the transfer of assets upon death. With an attorney’s help, people can reduce inheritance taxes and avoid costly mistakes. They can also prevent family conflict. Using an attorney makes it easier to update the estate plan as needed. Take a closer look at these benefits.
Reduce Inheritance Taxes
Pennsylvania has a 4.5% inheritance tax for most assets passed up or down to lineal descendants. The state also charges a 12% tax on most assets passed to siblings and a 15% flat tax to other beneficiaries. Many people use estate planning attorneys to reduce these tax burdens. Attorneys help clients implement strategies such as gifting assets to children, buying extra life insurance, and setting up trusts.
People who handle estate planning themselves tend to make mistakes. Common mistakes include forgetting to specify guardianship in the will, failing to include a letter of instruction to ensure the final wishes are followed, and not planning for a beneficiary’s possible death. People also tend to make basic mistakes when filling out the will, such as entering the wrong information. Using an attorney is an easy way to avoid these common mistakes.
Prevent Family Conflict
Losing a loved one is stressful. That stress, combined with inheritable assets, drives conflict. The conflict is worse when the estate plan is murky. For instance, if the will states that the beneficiaries should divide the assets evenly without specifying who gets what, the family is likely to fight. Hiring an estate planning attorney can help people avoid conflict. An attorney ensures that the will does not contain any gray areas, making it easier for family members to get along.
Update the Estate Plan as Needed
Using an attorney for estate planning makes it easier to update any necessary documents. Attorneys monitor changes to estate planning laws and inform clients when they should update their documents. Such events may include marriage, divorce, and the birth of children.
Do Not Wait to Plan for The Future
Far too many people put estate planning off until it is too late. Start planning today to ensure your wishes are honored upon your passing. You can make the process much easier by using an attorney. Start with a consultation, and then you can begin planning your estate.
Call us for more information from Kim A. Bodnar, Attorney at Law or to schedule a consultation in our office in Pittsburgh.
NOTE: This is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
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