How Can An Estate Lawyer Help You?


If there is one thing we can be sure of in this life, it is the knowledge that it will end at some stage. Before succumbing to the inevitable, getting your affairs in order is a good idea. That’s where an estate lawyer comes in. They can help you plan for this eventuality so that your wishes in life can get carried out in the event of your death. So how can an estate lawyer help you?

Estate lawyers can help you plan your will, such as which assets to include and which to leave out, designate your beneficiaries, plan your living will, establish power of attorney, and help to mitigate estate duties. They can also help to set up trusts for you and your beneficiaries.

There are so many things that you need to plan for throughout your life. One thing that many people often put aside till the last minute or neglect to prepare for is what should happen to your belongings in the event of your death. You might be surprised to learn that death involves numerous legalities, so employing an estate lawyer can help you in the long run.


So What Is An Estate Lawyer, And How Can They Help You?

Estate lawyers deal with all things relating to your estate. In this instance, we don’t just mean the house and land you live on, but all of your assets and worldly belongings. Essentially all of the objects that make up your net worth.

Estate lawyers specialize in all things relating to the laws that affect estates and how they will be valued, taxed, inventoried, and dispersed after your death. They will have an in-depth knowledge of the Administration of Estates Act 66 of 1965, the Wills Act 7 of 1953, and the Intestate Successions Act 81 of 1987.

You might think that estate lawyers are only for the rich and famous, but you would be incorrect in this thought pattern. Anyone who owns something vital to them, whether it be a car, a guitar, some old photos, a life policy, or a bit of money saved in the bank, can benefit from the services an estate lawyer provides.

An estate lawyer can help you organise your life and possessions so that when you die, you can rest assured that your possessions will go where and to whom you want them to go. They offer a range of services to help you plan for your and the future of your loved ones. Some services an estate lawyer can help you with include, but are not limited to, the following.


Help You To Create Your Will

A will is one of the most important aspects for anyone who wishes to ensure that their assets go to the right person. This document is essential if you have a large family, a large estate, or special items that must go to the right home.

A will can also indicate who you want to care for your minor children. It can also designate a time frame for when you wish your beneficiaries to inherit. You may want a portion of the money they inherit to go towards schooling, or you may want them only to get the majority of the inheritance when they reach a certain age. You can indicate all of this in a will.

The proper setup of a will with the help of an estate lawyer can ensure that there is no confusion and no issues about who gets what when you die. Essentially it is a way for you to dictate what you wish to happen in the event of your death while you are still alive.


What To Include Or Leave Out Of Your Will

Not only can an estate lawyer help you set up your will, but they can also advise you on what you should include or leave out of your will. They can help you negotiate the red tape surrounding inheritances by advising you on entrusting your belongings to people before illness, old age, or an accident occurs, leaving the items that you cannot transfer to people while you are still alive to go into your will.


Can Help You To Write A Living Will

A living will is a legally binding document that sets up an advanced directive allowing you to make informed decisions about your well-being and health if you are in an accident or suffer from a natural cause that incapacitates you physically or mentally.

In this type of will, you can specify whether or not you wish for your organs to get donated, indicate that you do not want to be resuscitated, or at what stage you might wish doctors to turn off your life support.


Advise You On Decisions About Your Dependants Future Care

An estate lawyer can help you put in writing who you wish to care for your children or dependents in the event of your death. You may want a grandparent, sibling, godparent, friend, or anyone not directly related to you to look after your children.

If anything happens to you, an estate lawyer can help with this process. They can help put it in writing, help manage the process, and ensure that your children are cared for properly.


Can Help You Set Up Trusts

A trust can help ensure that the assets you leave behind for your dependents are safeguarded until they can handle the responsibility. Trusts are also a good idea if you wish your beneficiaries to use some assets for certain things, like education, travel, etc.

An estate lawyer can help you set up trusts properly and ensure they are managed correctly until the beneficiaries can handle them themselves.


They Can Help Reduce Costs Associated With Estate Duties

Most estate lawyers will have in-depth knowledge of the laws associated with estate duties. Therefore, they can advise you on the appropriate action to help reduce or mitigate these costs.


Benefits Of Consulting An Estate Lawyer

There are several reasons why consulting an estate lawyer to prepare for your estate’s future in case of death or incapacitation due to mental or physical causes is beneficial.

The most vital of these reasons is that an estate lawyer can help you create an individualised plan that they will base on your specific circumstances and needs. During this planning process, they can give you personalised legal advice.

Estate Lawyers can help you anticipate if any of your assets or facets of your will might get contested. They can help you plan for this to avoid any associated headaches by ensuring that your will concisely states your wishes. You will also have access to an experienced and knowledgeable resource who can answer your questions and aid you with any concerns, updates, or changes you wish to impose on your will and any trusts you may have set up.

If someone decides to contest a will that you stand to benefit from, consulting with an estate lawyer would be beneficial, as lawsuits of this nature can quickly drain an estate’s funds.

At Burnett Attorneys & Notaries, you can expect only the best advice when planning your will. We understand that every situation is unique, which carries through during our planning process. So if you want to start putting together a will, our team is ready to help you as best we can. Don’t hesitate to contact us to set up a consultation with one of our estate lawyers so we can start guiding you through the estate planning process.