Estate Planning For All
Many people have the mistaken belief that a last will and testament is only for the wealthy. Other people neglect making an estate plan because they just don’t want to think about it.
The truth is that all kinds of families can benefit from an estate plan. Whether or not you have a lot of assets to pass down, sitting down with a skilled lawyer to make a plan is one of the best things you can do to help your loved ones after you are gone.
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. At our Waterloo, Iowa, office we help with issues such as:
- Living wills
- Power of attorney
- Advance directives
- Estate tax planning
Why Plan Your Estate?
When a person passes 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. If the person did not leave a valid will or other estate planning documents, a probate court must decide how to distribute the estate, and the results may look very different from what the person would have wanted.
Iowa state law gives courts guidelines on how to distribute estates in cases where a person did not leave a will. Generally, this means the person’s family tree must be reached to determine the next of kin. This process takes time and money, and that money comes out of the estate, meaning there is often less to go around for the heirs. It’s not uncommon in these situations for close companions to be left out while a distant relative inherits much of the estate.