By attorney Keith Morris, Special to THELAW.TV
Estate planning is an essential tool for all adults. Having a will, as well as designating child guardianships and powers of attorney, should be done no matter what your age or health status.
Many people avoid estate planning because they consider it something for older generations, while others see it as something for only the wealthy. The truth is that it should be something you start in early adulthood, no matter how many assets you have. If you haven't started yet, it's not too late, and it doesn't have to be an expensive endeavor.
How much estate planning costs depends on the size of your estate, the market in your area, how long the process takes, and how many changes you want to make to your plan.
An estate plan for many people may consists only of a will. Drafting a simple will with the help of an estate planning attorney doesn't have to be expensive. It may cost you around $300-$600, depending on where you live. The smaller your estate, the cheaper estate planning will be.
For those with large estates, there may be quite a few more needs in estate planning. Setting up trusts and planning for taxes, for example, will be more complicated than a simple will and thus cost more. Getting experienced legal advice in these matters is vital. Estate planning attorneys work specifically in this area of law, keeping up with current tax regulations, and estate planning laws in your state.
Whether you have a small estate or large, paying for the services of an estate planning attorney will help ensure that your loved ones spend less time and money navigating the probate process later.
The author, Keith Morris, is an estate planning attorney in Houston, Texas.