Estate planning is widely misunderstood. Many people assume that the subject is relevant only to the very wealthy, but that is not the case.
I am attorney Randy M. Lish, and I believe in fully informing my clients about their legal options. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about estate planning and my legal practice.
Do I Need a Will?
Yes, everyone should have a will to make sure your property goes where you want it to go after you pass away, and not where the state decides it should go. Having a will ensures your wishes are respected and saves your heirs’ money and a great deal of frustration.
What Happens if I Don’t Have a Will?
When a person passes away without a will, a probate court must track down the nearest of kin in order to distribute the deceased person’s assets, known as the estate. This takes time and money, and these costs come out of the estate. This method can result in distant relatives inheriting everything while close companions get nothing.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Draft a Will?
Yes. To be legally enforceable, your will must meet certain formalities required by Utah law. To do the job it is supposed to do, and to minimize the chance of legal disputes, your will must be very carefully drafted for your specific needs and goals. For these purposes and more, it is important that you get help from a professional.
How Much Does It Cost to Write a Will?
When drafting a will for a couple, I typically charge about $400. Charges may vary depending on the complexity involved or other considerations.
Do I Need a Trust?
Not everyone needs a trust, but a trust can be invaluable for those who wish to exercise greater control over their estates. There are many different types of trusts, and they can be customized to serve many different purposes, including preserving assets, caring for vulnerable loved ones or providing for a favorite charity. There are even trusts that can go into effect during your lifetime.
Should I Tell My Family About My Estate Plan?
Yes, absolutely. Two of the main reasons for crafting an estate plan are to make your wishes known and to spare your loved ones a lot of uncertainty and conflict. It is best to let them know what you intend to do beforehand.
How Often Should I Update My Plan?
It’s a good idea to have your plan reviewed every one or two years, or if there is a life-changing event. I generally do not charge my clients a fee for a simple review, although there may be fees involved if the will needs more than minor updating.
How Do I Get Started?
Get started by calling my office today. You can also send an email.
Randy M. Lish, Attorney at Law, has offices in Provo, Utah, and represents clients throughout the area.