In larger communities, it isn’t uncommon for attorneys to offer their time for estate planning workshops designed to teach learners what they might not already know about the subject. The attorneys have ulterior motives, of course, but estate planning is also an oft-misunderstood subject that many of us believe is just for rich people. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Should you attend one of these workshops?
It depends on how much you know and how well prepared you are for your family’s future.
Typically, workshops will offer a run-down of essential estate planning techniques, annual alterations to previously made estate planning documents, tax laws, and options to reduce the tax burden sustained by donating to charity.
William K. Hayes, Esq. of the Hayes Law Firm said, “Even if you don’t have many assets, you want to make sure that you have all the proper estate planning documents in place that will give written instruction as to what you want to have happen to you if you are in a car accident or if you get some type of a debilitating chronic illness that requires Long Term Care. Your estate planning should account for long-term healthcare costs. If you haven’t prepared for long-term healthcare costs, then you really haven’t planned at all.”
Other commonly discussed topics include: the potential for internet plans ending up in court, living trusts, inheritance obstacles, common mistakes and pitfalls, long-term care opportunities, protecting assets, avoiding court supervision when impaired, and protecting a child’s inheritance.
Fiorito said, “Estate planning is unlike any other area of law and is something that really does apply to every single person on the planet, each of us will die at some point. For those with minor children, it is especially important to designate a legal guardian who you feel comfortable raising your children should the circumstance arise. Parents who choose not to properly plan, are subject to having court-appointed guardians care for their children.”
Many law firms are dedicated to holding these workshops at monthly seminars, but they are normally coupled with community education projects. If you are interested in this type of workshop, you might start researching online or looking at education services offered through local high schools or community colleges. Many workshops are free or cost a nominal fee.
Without the proper estate planning, the probate court system will almost always decide how your assets are divided when you die — and that means the people you would have listed as beneficiaries if you had “gotten around to it” won’t necessarily get their due.