When you hear the word “lawyer,” what’s the first thing that comes into mind? Is it criminal defense? Television commercials for car injuries? That movie with Jim Carrey in it? Whether it’s one of these options or something else, there’s most likely a type of lawyer for it! Lawyers offer legal services for almost everything under the sun, and criminal defense really only skims the surface.
Perhaps some of the most important types of legal services are those of lawyers who can help write a will and settle affairs to prepare for when you, or a family member passes away. Over half of the population in the United States from ages 55 to 64 does not have a will prepared. Not only does this put your finances in jeopardy, it puts your family’s future in jeopardy as well. Without a will, your next of kin will have to settle your affairs alone, and without the help of the law offices that could have ensured the execution of your specific wishes. The lack of a will creates rifts between family members, as well as financial confusion, which isn’t something you want after you’ve passed on.
Another important thing to consider is creating a living will. With the help of a lawyer, you can create this document, which details your desires regarding any medical treatment in the case that you are no longer able to give informed consent. For example, if you are placed on a form of life support, how long would you be willing to stay that way? Creating these documents poses some very serious and sometimes sad questions, but the future of your family may depend on the answers you provide. Working with a will lawyer can help provide clarity and a little bit more simplicity to this process. In your will, you also have the option to enable power of attorney, which gives the provider of your legal services to represent you and enact your wishes.
A will is important, but in order to have your finances settled beforehand, some estate planning may be required. And you guessed it, a lawyer can help you do that as well! Estate lawyers can help you create a plan to finance your estate, both while you’re alive and after you’ve passed on. In the case that you have assets exceeding six figures, estate planning attorneys usually recommend creating a trust in addition to a will to help minimize taxes and avoid probate. This way, your will doesn’t need to be defended, and your estate finances are all in order.
The world of law is a lot bigger than you would probably first imagine it to be. Preparing for the future requires a lot of thought, and getting help from a trusted lawyer can make all the difference in the world. And you thought preparing to live was hard! Don’t knock all of the lawyers who don’t practice criminal law, because they are the ones who can help you prepare for the best future possible.