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Frayer Law Offices
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Estate Planning Process

Estate Planning Attorney Serving Pittsburgh, PA

One of the most common mistakes that people make when approaching the estate planning process is they underestimate the amount of time that the process requires. The word "estate" means all of the property that a person owns or controls, including their personal property, bank accounts, real estate, insurance policies, trust accounts and more. Estate plans are necessary because they ensure that your property is correctly distributed to your specified beneficiaries in an efficient manner. The process of estate planning should be researched and fully understood before any steps are taken, and it should be approached in a similar manner to any other important decision because it will affect your future and the lives of many others. The process of wills and estate planning is not severely difficult, but it does require a thorough comprehension of each step before it is executed.

Steps to Estate Planning

Here at Frayer Law Offices, we serve individuals and families who want to prepare an estate plan that covers all of their concerns and needs for the future. For nearly 40 years, we have been creating and implementing estate plans for families and individuals in the Pittsburgh area and we are prepared to help you today. We have provided the following steps so that you can familiarize yourself with each part of the estate planning process.

There are many determinations and circumstances that need to be taken into consideration before moving on to the next step, and each area of law concerning estate planning should be researched and thoroughly understood. Many people do not have the time or luxury to become a legal expert on estate planning, and an estate planning attorney can help you throughout this process. With the assistance of a qualified Pittsburgh estate planning lawyer, you can move through this process as quickly and efficiently as possible.

  1. Determine your need.
    Determine whether you actually need to plan your estate or if it is not necessary in your case. Some of the factors that should be considered include your financial status and your family's situation. If you fall into a category that requires estate planning, you should continue the process.

  2. Hire a qualified estate planning lawyer.
    If you have not already done so, you should hire an experienced lawyer who can help you with the process of estate planning. A lawyer can also help you determine if you need estate planning at all. You should not try to go about this process on your own because it is a detailed procedure that requires in-depth legal knowledge. Without a legal professional, you may waste time and money without accomplishing any intended results.

  3. Create a first draft of your estate plan.
    With our help, you can draw up an initial estate plan that reflects information regarding your family's current financial stance. This first draft will be foundational to the rest of the process and will establish a direction upon which to build. You may include four or five of the essential estate planning documents in this plan.

  4. Determine whether you need advanced estate planning.
    A lawyer can help you assess whether or not you need advanced estate planning, which includes more complex aspects of estate planning involving trusts and other life matters. This step can also be performed in conjunction with step three, depending on the complexity of the scenario.

  5. Maintain your estate plan.
    After the estate plan is established and thoroughly set in place, you will profit from time to time revision and modification. Keep in mind that no estate plan is ever completely finalized because changing economic conditions, account values, inflation, and tax laws are constantly changing and affecting the way that estate laws are implemented. Life situations change on an almost daily basis, so this last step should be revisited on a frequent basis. At the very least, you should review your estate plan at least once every two years, and more frequently if you experience a major life change such as marriage.

After your plan is in place, we will help you put the finishing touches on your plan. This includes making sure that you have several copies of everything and that you've made all necessary adjustments to your titling of assets, your beneficiary designations, and more.

Why do I need a Pittsburgh estate planning attorney?

We have mentioned several times that it is important to have an attorney help you plan your estate and now we will address why it is so important. The right attorney has powers, legal resources, and capabilities that can help the situation not feel so daunting. Estate planning is viewed as a complex matter in the sense that there is much to consider and aspects of the future can often be easily overlooked. This is why our firm is here to help you plan your estate. Our legal team is passionate about helping individuals and families with this complex area of the law, and we can help you navigate concerns you might not previously have noticed. At Frayer Law Offices, we are here to walk through the process with you and guide you to the most favorable and timely resolution that is possible.

Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation where you can discuss your goals and concerns with an AV® Rated attorney who genuinely cares about you and your future.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.