Death is costly in more ways than one. Not only does the family have to pay for a funeral, they must hire an estate law firm to help settle the deceased person’s affairs. If one has no estate plan, their loved ones can quickly be overwhelmed by legal fees. Even if someone has an estate plan, fees can add up if the plan hasn’t been properly maintained. Below are tips for minimizing the fees associated with settling an estate.
Make a Solid Estate Plan
The cost of setting up an estate plan is usually far less than the expense associated with settling an estate in the absence of a plan. The Law Office of Starr, Bejgiert, Zink & Rowells can help clients set up a good plan rather than relying on ready-made forms found in books and online. An estate plan should fit a person’s life status. For instance, a simple will is not appropriate if the estate can be taxed. By spending the money before death, a person can save their family a great deal of aggravation and money.
Properly Maintain the Plan
Once a person has created an estate plan, they should periodically maintain it. A plan that’s ideal today is likely to be substantially different than the ideal plan ten years down the road. Hire an attorney with a maintenance program, and the plan will grow and change as laws and life change.
Consider a Revocable Living Trust
A funded revocable living trust can keep assets out of probate after death. Depending on state law, keeping the estate out of probate can save families thousands of dollars. In some instances, especially in cases of non-taxable estates, loved ones can settle a person’s affairs with little to no help from an attorney.
Have a Plan for Debt
People should have a plan for paying final expenses and estate taxes. One of the worst things would be to have significant assets and debt going through probate court, but an estate law firm in Chicago can sort that situation out. However, it may mean that the attorney’s fees would be paid by the family rather than from the estate. By starting to reduce debt now, and by buying life insurance, clients can leave their families with enough money to pay final expenses.