Boyack Christiansen Legal Solutions can help you with your Utah estate planning needs. The goal of most people in this area is to maximize the amount of their estate that goes to their heirs because this minimizes the amount that goes to the government and attorneys. We reduce your risks and work to eliminate the usual personal, professional, and emotional hassles of Utah estate planning matters. Our firm has partnered with CPA’s and financial services professionals because we strive to create a plan that will meet your needs and accomplish your goals. Contact us with any questions you may have or if you would like to set up an appointment.
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Just What in the World is Estate Planning?
The most basic definition of estate planning is “putting a plan in place for the disposition of your assets after you have passed”. However, well-thought-out estate planning involves working with multiple professionals. This includes an estate planning attorney, a tax advisor, a financial professional, and others who might be involved.
The process of planning your estate will typically begin with an initial consultation with an attorney. In this meeting you are likely to discuss, in approximate terms, your net worth and estate planning goals.
If you are comfortable with the attorney, you will then schedule a follow-up meeting. This will be with either the attorney or their paralegal to get a more detailed description. So they will need to know about all of your assets, debts, and distribution plan ideas.
The law firm has this information, they may contact your CPA or tax advisor and/or your financial advisor. This will be to ensure that the goals you’ve discussed are in line with the goals expressed to the attorney.
Once the attorney has gathered all of this information, they will typically go to their inventory of estate planning tools. They will propose one or two ideas to you to successfully execute your wishes.
It is very helpful at this point, if your attorney is familiar with various financial instruments. This includes annuities, variable annuities, life insurance, mutual funds, 401(k) s, IRAs, etc. An attorney who’s not familiar with these, may set-up estate planning documents that don’t work with your financial accounts.
This is one of the reasons that I personally became life insurance licensed. I also hold several securities designations. I understand the power of many of these financial instruments.
If the plan makes sense then the attorney and his staff will work to create the plan documents and schedule a time for you to come in and review them. At this time, it would be wise to take the time to review the documents, especially checking for spellings of various family names.
If the documents are all in order, and the necessary people are available, you may be able to sign them in this appointment. However, if your plan is complex requiring multiple documents you may want to take your documents home and review them with family members prior to execution.
A thorough estate planning process in which the most basic documents are used should cost at least $1500.00. Any less and you have not hired an attorney, nor paid for legal advice. You’ve merely hired a document drafter who is looking to turn a quick buck on a simple document.
A more complex estate plan can run into the tens of thousands of dollars depending on your goals, tax situation, and the size of your estate. On average a good estate plan will run from $2,000.00 to $10,000.00
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