If you are facing obstacles surrounding the death or severe injury of a family member, you should consider seeking the advice of an attorney who specializes in estate planning. The attorney may be able to provide services regarding an individual’s final wishes, asset distribution, and tax and fee minimization.
What is considered an estate?
An estate is defined as the net worth of an individual at a given time. Net worth refers to the sum of assets, interest in property, interest in intellectual property, and legal rights minus the liabilities. Though the definition appears to be clear, the process of transferring that net worth after death may be challenging, especially if there wasn’t a clear title held by the deceased proving their ownership.
There are licensed and fully insured estate planning lawyers who can form complicated or simple trusts to help protect assets and an individual’s financial well-being. A trust can contain vehicle titles, real estate, beneficiary deeds, as well as a transfer of account balances. Certain law firms may be able to help establish who can distribute funds, inherit the estate’s assets, or act as an executor after an individual’s passing. There are law firms that may assist with:
- Living wills
- Revocable or living trusts
- Medical directives
- Financial and healthcare powers of attorney
- Probate litigation
- Trust administration or formation
- Guardianships or conservatorships
It’s important to choose an estate law attorney who is intimately familiar with estate tax law. We can negotiate IRS regulations and protocols in a timely manner on your behalf. Some of the most common tax services we provide include:
- Offers and compromise
- IRS and state wage garnishments, liens, and audits
- Unfiled federal and state tax returns
- Payment plans to the IRS and the state
When an individual dies without possessing a will, probate litigation may be required. If circumstances have altered since formation of the will, conservatorship, or trust was formulated or the guardian or conservator is improperly executing their duties, litigation may be required. Seniors who are fiscally abused by telemarketers, caregivers, or fraudsters may benefit from probate litigation.
If sometime in the future you were to become unable to manage your own healthcare or finances, our estate law attorney can help you form a conservatorship and a guardianship. The conservator, appointed by the court, manages the patient’s finances, and the guardian cares for and makes medical decisions for the loved one.
Depending on how an estate plan is formulated, there are maybe a myriad of components to consider. Seek the counsel of an experienced estate planning attorney such as the estate planning lawyer Phoenix, AZ locals turn to help guide you through the process.
Thanks to authors at Kamper Estrada LLP for their insight into Estate Law.