Frequently Asked Estate Planning Questions
Estate planning is a fairly simple concept that can involve numerous complexities. Having a lawyer on your side to help you determine the types of tools you need and who can answer your questions is essential. Attorney Raymond Lampert provides comprehensive estate planning services to individuals throughout the greater Springfield area.
The following are some of the frequently asked estate planning questions that Ray Lampert encounters. It is important to keep in mind that everyone’s situation is unique and nothing can replace the personalized advice you receive from meeting with an attorney.
Who needs a will? Everyone. Many people think that a will is only for the wealthy or for those with significant assets. However, every person can benefit from having a will, regardless of how many possessions they have. If a person dies without having a will in place, the state of Missouri will divide your estate according to the law. There is a good chance that the law will not reflect your wishes. Having a will in place helps ensure that your desires will be honored and can provide you with peace of mind.
What are the benefits of a trust? The word “trust” conjures up images of those who are well-to-do. However, just like a will, a trust can benefit people from all walks of life. A trust can give you the power to determine exactly how and when your assets are distributed, and provides you with greater control over your assets than a simple will can provide.
Can an estate plan ever be updated? Yes. In fact, it can be useful to review your estate plan every few years. Divorce, expanded and blended families, and the death of a loved one can all impact your estate plan. Keeping your estate plan up-to-date is essential to proper planning for your family’s future.
What is a financial power of attorney? A financial power of attorney enables you to place a trusted family member or friend in charge of your financial decisions should you ever find yourself unable to do so. If you do not have a financial power of attorney in place and are incapacitated as the result of an accident, disease or for any other reason, the court will appoint a guardian to monitor your financial affairs.
What is a health care power of attorney? A health care power of attorney is similar to a financial power of attorney, only you name a trusted person to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are ever unable to do so.
Do I need a lawyer to help me with this? There are numerous “canned” forms available that supposedly take care of your estate planning needs. However, only a skilled attorney can craft an estate plan that is designed to meet all of your goals and ensure that everything is in compliance with the law. Attorney Ray Lampert can guide you through this process and make any updates when necessary.