5 Things Estate Lawyers Can Help With

Posted on: 17 July 2015

The concept of estate planning is pretty vague to many of us. So how does this type of planning work, and what do estate lawyers help out with? Read on to figure out some of the common ways that estate lawyers help clients to get the most out of the money that they have made.


One way to deal with laws on estate money is through the process of gifting. In a gifting process, individuals with net worth transfer their assets, in cash, to younger family members in order to minimize the impact of any eventual estate taxes.

One issue is that the gifting process can be complex. The US government has set current gifting rates at $14,000 per person per year, but that amount can be compounded by multiplying the gifting parties -- in other words, more than one spouse in a couple can give money during the same year, to the same person. By the same token, more than one descendent can receive gifting money within the same year. Estate lawyers can help figure out the limits of a legal gifting strategy.


While it might seem like a small detail, the actual naming of beneficiaries on a will is extremely important. Without clarity, an emergency can lead to a protracted legal battle as parties try to decipher the deceased person's wishes. Estate lawyers create transparency for the beneficiary process.


While it is waiting for intended beneficiaries, money should be working for its owners. Estate lawyers can counsel on the best options for investing, whether that's certificates of deposit and money market accounts, stock equities, certain types of funds or commodities.

Access to Capital

With different types of stored capital such as retirement accounts, not to mention trusts and other funds, there are all sorts of complex rules about access to money, for example, what happens if someone withdraws from an account early, according to the contractual rules set by banks and other parties. Estate planning lawyers can help figure out how money can be taken out of an account in an emergency.

Powers of Attorney

Estate lawyers can also help to explain the sometimes difficult chain of power of attorney that would need to happen for an aging family member. This aspect of the law can be tricky, with different levels of power of attorney set to be for different situations.

These are some of the key areas of guidance that estate planning lawyers like Edward G. Foster can provide to their clients.