Estate Planning For All
There’s a mistaken impression that only wealthy individuals require a last will and testament. Others put it off because they don’t see the need for an estate plan.
Regardless of your situation, most individuals and families can find an estate plan helpful. Whether or not you have a lot of assets to pass down, discussing your situation with an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer is always beneficial.
At Timothy D. Ament Law Firm, P.C., we help people preserve their assets, ease the burdens for their loved ones and build legacies that will last far into the future. We help with issues such as:
- Living wills
- Power of attorney
- Advance directives
- Estate tax planning
Why Plan Your Estate?
Should a loved one pass away, all of his or her assets are known as the person’s estate. An estate plan allows the person to decide in advance how he or she wants those assets distributed, and those decisions are legally enforceable. Suppose they did not create a valid will or other estate planning documentation. In that case, a probate court will make those decisions regarding estate distribution, and the results may look very different from what was desired.
Iowa law provides courts with guidelines concerning the distribution of the estate in cases when there is no will. Generally, this means the person’s family tree must be reached to determine the next of kin. This can be a lengthy and expensive process. While the money will likely come out of the estate, that money otherwise could go to the heirs. It can happen that loved ones are left out of the inheritance while some distant relative takes most of the estate’s proceeds.