Death is not cheap, over and above very costly funeral expenses are the costs associated with settling all your affairs once you have passed on. If, during your lifetime you did not give any thought to an estate plan then the loved ones you leave behind will be clueless about your estate and the legal fees to find up will add up very quickly. Even if you had a plan for your estate, it was not revisited periodically your estate will have changed by the time you die and once again, legal fees will be higher than they should have been. What happens if you have a will and nobody knows where it is? There are a few tips on how to lower legal costs that are invariable when setting your estate.
Make a good, solid plan:
The total cost of setting up a strong estate plan, although costly, will be a lot less then the attorney’s fees when your estate has to be settled without a plan. The key to lower legal costs is planning; this does not mean using some forms that you found on line or an inexpensive piece of estate planning software that works on your PC. You need a plan which is complimentary to your status, if your estate is subject to tax then a simple will is not good enough, take the time while you are still alive to design a plan with your attorney that will save your heirs money after your death.
Maintain the plan:
Having a plan is one thing but sticking it in the bottom drawer of your desk is not good enough. The estate plan that you make today will probably be very different than the plan you will need a few years hence. Work with an attorney that has an established maintenance plan which will ensure that your estate plan will work well as your life and the law change.
Have a plan for your debt:
There must be a plan in place that is designed to pay all your outstanding debts at the time of your death, this includes estate taxes. If you have a lot of assets and debt but no plan you will have to go through an expensive probate which means that your heirs will end up paying more for the attorney directly from the estate than it would have cost had you had a debt plan. Your debt plan should start early in life with an insurance policy that will pay out enough to settle your debts.
These simple tips can help you lower legal costs upon your death, allowing your loved ones time to grieve, not worry about the future.