Senior Citizen's Guide to Philadelphia and Suburbs Fall/Winter 2013 - page 20

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Top Ten Reasons to Consult an
Attorney for Wills and Estate Planning
Many “TOP TEN” lists be-
gin with number 10, or the least
important item on the list, and
progress to the most significant
item at number 1. (Or, if you’ve
ever watched David Letterman
on late night television, you may
have noticed that his Top Ten list
usually progresses from least to
most comical.) But here, the most
intriguing item is listed first. One
of the primary reasons to consult
an attorney when planning for your
estate is this:
#1. It is the cost-effective
approach.
Overall, it can save
money. Looking at the big picture,
you know that you have several
good reasons for writing a Will,
most involving a desire to benefit
your heirs.You want to ensure that
the process of handling your estate
after your demise will be easy,
simple, and conflict-free for your
loved ones. And you want taxes
and costs reduced to a minimum,
so that the highest number of dol-
lars can go to your selected heirs.
The best way to meet these objec-
tives is to seek help from someone
who knows how to accomplish
your goals successfully. An expe-
rienced estate planning attorney is
most likely to know how to draft
the proper language, in the right
documents, executed with all of the
proper formalities, in order to help
ensure that the administration of
your estate is simplified, as well as
cost-efficient in terms of taxes and
administrative costs. In dealing
with estates where smart planning
was not in place, and in studying
the case law, we’ve learned how to
anticipate potential problems and
to develop strategies to avoid them.
The fee charged by an attorney
to draft an estate plan that will
effectuate your desires might be
less than you think. You can ask
friends and family members for
recommendations, or conduct your
own search, and then call two or
three attorneys to see whom you
are comfortable dealing with. Most
attorneys will gladly have at least
a brief discussion with you on the
telephone, at no charge, and will
give you an estimate of the fee.
The
fee charged for drafting a proper
Will likely will be much less than
the fees that would be charged to
your heirs later to correct mistakes
or resolve conflicts that could have
been avoided.
#2.Attorneys are licensed and
are bound by a code of ethics.
Most attorneys (as well as most
people in the service industries)
are honest and strive to be com-
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