Do you need an attorney to get you through an estate plan, will, or even your business taxes? Most people don’t assume that attorneys are needed for some of these processes because they are so common. Shouldn’t we be able to handle reading my Dad’s will after he passes on? Life and death shouldn’t be so complicated that I always need a lawyer hanging around to guide me through. Unfortunately, that is the way the world works. Well, at least in the United States that is how the world works. Legal proceedings are messy and muddled by words that tend to make fuzzy the real reasons we do anything. The real reason that my Dad wrote a will is because he worked hard all his life and wanted to be able to give something to his children when he left. Why does this require a lawyer? Well…. America I guess. But if you find yourself in this situation you likely have no choice but to hire a lawyer to take your money while you are mourning the passing of a loved one.
So what is involved with an estate plan or will? It depends a lot on the person, but basically whatever assets a person had while living will be divided up to whomever they choose after they die. This usually involved real estate, cars, retirement plans or savings plans, bonds, pieces of land, or anything else that we humans claim as our own. If your loved one has a giant farm and leaves it all to you, you pretty much have to take it if that is how they wrote their plan. These are legally binding agreements that you, as an heir, had no say in at any point. So you better hope that your older loves ones know you well because maybe your Uncle just thinks you love Scooby Doo because you haven’t had the heart to tell him otherwise since you have grown. So you might end up getting a life-size Scooby Doo van complete with all characters. Is that something that you would really want? Well it doesn’t matter if that is what your Uncle thinks and he is putting together his last will with you in mind. Legal documents can really wreak havoc on the world but, yet again, that is how this crazy place works. So call your lawyer if it happens because you might want to get out of inheriting that Scooby Doo van after all. No one wants to buy that.
There are so many things in life surrounding birth and death that require paperwork. We have to document the people so that the government knows what’s going on, I suppose. If we want to use things we have to buy into the system. But know this, lawyers are around to help us navigate through the muddy waters of estate planning, among other things. Also know this, there are many more important things in life, like those that you love. So put them first and worry about calling a lawyer later.