Who Are The Parties Involved In Estate Planning?
The parties who are involved in the planning of an estate include the attorney, certainly and then if the family has an accountant or a tax preparer that they use, that person should be involved as well. Having a financial advisor included is also a good idea because many of the financial accounts will have to be re-titled into the name of a trust if one is created.
What Is Meant By Trust Administration
If someone has a trust, instead of probate, trust administration is what is done. It’s a similar process to probate except that you don’t have to go through court formalities to do it. The trustee simply can undertake and do all of these things without the four month waiting period and without all the formal notices and the expense of probate. Probate of an estate can cost $30,000 or $40,000, whereas administration of the estate might cost $2000 or $3000.
Why Is It Important To Consider Mental Incapacitation In An Estate Plan?
Planning for mental incapacitation is always an important part of an estate plan. Even if people don’t have an estate there should still be someone to make decisions for the individual or individuals in the event they become incapacitated. It can be very devastating on family and loved ones if no one is able to easily and quickly make decisions for them. Going through the court process to get appointed to make those decisions can also be very difficult.
Attorney Cloyd Havens advises everyone to have documents in place where in the event he or she becomes incapacitated, someone can make the necessary decisions. Again, this is just two documents which are the advanced healthcare directive and the general power of attorney.
How Long Does the Estate Planning Process Take From Start To Finish?
After his first contact with clients, Attorney Cloyd Havens sends them a form to complete. A week later, the clients will bring that form back to his office for the initial meeting where they will go over the form. At that time any questions they have or Attorney Havens may have can be addressed. After, that meeting, he will send a draft of the documents to the clients for review. That is the one variable time component in the process, how long it takes them to get through the review.
Once the clients have gone through the documents and have answers to any questions they had and made any needed changes, they will meet with Attorney Havens again. At that point they will all go over the questions and changes and once we are sure that the documents are good, everything is signed. This all usually takes three or four weeks from the very first contact until it is finished.
What Qualities Should Someone Look For In An Estate Planning Attorney?
When looking for an estate planning attorney, Attorney Cloyd Havens finds it is important to look for someone who will take the time to explain exactly what it is that is being done. There are many personal individual decisions that are made in this process and it is important for clients to understand the ramifications of each action.
Additionally one should look for someone who has a teaching type of personality. Attorney Havens believes it is important to avoid someone who asks five or six simple questions and then says he has the perfect plan in mind and wants documents to be signed. There is far more to estate planning than that. One needs to ensure the attorney will take time to explain everything and teach the client the process before he or she is expected to make these personal and extremely important decisions.
What Sets You Apart In Handling Estate Planning Matters?
As a part-time college professor, Attorney Cloyd Havens teaches courses on Business Law. He loves the process of teaching someone something, of giving them knowledge that they didn’t have before. That carries through to his practice. He sits with his clients and listens to their concerns and their questions. His first goal is to educate those sitting in his office, to teach them about the estate planning process that they are going through.
In the rest of the conversation that follows, the clients are an active participant. The office has a very low key environment and they try very hard at not being intimidating and to be welcoming. Their law practice is a not adversarial and they take advantage of that and try to make their clients very comfortable from the moment they arrive. This is what sets Attorney Cloyd Havens apart from other estate planning lawyers.
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