How An Estate Planning Attorney Can Help You

When first thinking about creating an estate plan, some people are tempted to create a plan without a lawyer's help. There are, after all, standard forms available online that make this do-it-yourself approach seem easy at first glance. But there is a lot more to estate planning than filling out a couple of forms. If you're going to make an estate plan — and you certainly should — don't settle for an unreliable website. By working with an experienced attorney, you can rest assured that your will and other estate planning instruments have been drafted correctly and will be promptly and thoroughly executed when the time comes.

The Law Office of Curtis W. Patteson, LLC, will walk you through the estate planning and help you identify and create the plan that best meets your needs. We don't just fill out some forms — we offer personalized consultations that help you identify questions you hadn't even considered as well as the answers to those questions. Should you create a will, a trust or both? Where should important documents be filed so that they can be quickly accessed in the event of an emergency? We can answer these questions and more.

A Lawyer Can Help You Master The Fine Print

Every family situation is unique, and creating an estate plan that fits your family requires close attention to a range of details that I have years of experience addressing. For instance, most people know that they will want to appoint a personal representative (also called an executor), even without legal training. But when lay people craft their own wills, they usually don't realize that they also need to explicitly say that the "personal representative will serve without bond." If this is not stated clearly in your will and other documents, your personal representative may have to pay a bond equal to the value of your entire estate — effectively preventing him or her from carrying out the duties you have assigned them, or at least adding a significant cost to their work.

Details like this make a big difference. In practice, a will created with cheap online software may come out to three pages, while a will drafted properly by an attorney for the same estate might come out to eight pages. Every one of those additional words can make a huge difference to your loved ones when it's time to execute the will.

Furthermore, estate planning software is designed generically to function in all 50 states. This means that it fails to take into account the many quirks of Alaska's probate laws. When you work with me, in contrast, I can make sure that you make the state's laws work to your maximum advantage.

'Why Should I Hire An Estate Planning Attorney?' Call And Find Out.

The best way to see how a lawyer can help in your case is to come in for a consultation so we can talk about your specific estate planning needs. To learn more, call 888-785-7545 (toll free) or 907-306-9166, or send me an email. My office is located in Anchorage.