Estate Planning

Estate Planning Lawyers

Massey, Stotser & Nichols is a Birmingham, Alabama, law firm that handles a broad range of estate planning and probate-related services for individuals and corporate clients. A comprehensive estate plan can be essential to minimize estate taxation and to plan for the financial welfare of loved ones in your absence.

Regardless of your age, profession, or the size of your family, establishing and managing your estate plan can be a time-consuming affair. Therefore, MSN Attorneys offer holistic estate planning solutions to help you with efficient estate planning so you can breeze through the process’ critical requirements and avoid unnecessary stress. Whether you are trying to account for your assets or planning to designate the primary beneficiaries for your estate, our attorneys can support you through every step. 

What is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is the process of allocating your assets to select beneficiaries in the case of your passing or incapacitation. Apart from fulfilling this crucial task, it also designates a person who handles your responsibilities in such a situation. 

To designate trustworthy individuals to handle relevant affairs, people turn towards estate planning to ensure that their assets are distributed in a manner that they seem fit. When estate planning is done in your life, you can prevent unsavory situations that may otherwise arise without a proper asset distribution plan.

Apart from ensuring a seamless transfer of assets, estate planning is also done to minimize the impact of the estate tax, gift tax, and other taxes on your assets. This ensures that your beneficiaries can receive their rightful share without unnecessarily high reductions to your assets. 

At MSN Attorneys, you can easily find highly qualified estate planning attorneys in Alabama who can help you with all these essential needs. With our extensive knowledge of estate planning laws and specialized skills in handling related legal procedures, you can ensure that the process is conducted right according to your terms. As a result, you can make informed decisions regarding your estate’s affairs that are carried out without compromise. 

What is Required for Estate Planning and Probate Law in Alabama?

In the State of Alabama, estate planning can take multiple forms. In addition to handling the transfer of your available assets, it also entails the process of designating a person to handle your affairs. The designated individual can then act on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation. 

This process involves multiple documents and processes, which you can discuss with your attorney at length. To give you an idea of the general process, the below information delivers an overview of specific aspects of estate planning.

Power of Attorney

Alabama law allows you to designate two types of power of attorney documents.

Health Care Power of Attorney

Also called a living will, this document designates a person to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation. For instance, if you face a medical condition that renders you unable to make informed judgments, the designated individual can choose your medical treatments for you.

Financial Power of Attorney

This document appoints a person who manages your assets, controls your expenditure, and makes investment decisions. A power of attorney can be invoked in normal circumstances if you wish to do so.

However, it is usually drafted to come into effect in the case of your incapacitation. This is a critical factor during estate planning since it determines whether you want someone else to make your financial decisions or for everyone to follow the integrity of distribution plans that you made yourself. 

Last Will and Testament

If you are 18 years of age or older and of a sound mind, you can easily create a will. This outlines any financial decisions that you want to be executed in the event of your passing. If you want most of your assets to be treated this way, it is important to take relevant measures.

  • Alabama state law requires you to have two witnesses while you sign your will or have it signed by someone else on your directive. This is important for the validity of your will and the actions you want to be taken through it. 
  • In order to take effect, your will has to go through probate. This is the process where a court validates your will and carries out your financial directives. However, this particular process also levies various taxes. This means that your beneficiaries may not receive the assets to their full capacity.
  • Any of your assets that have named beneficiaries are excluded from probate. This may include jointly-owned property and retirement funds with beneficiary information.

Living Trusts

The living trust is a powerful vehicle that can hold many assets that you may want to be distributed after your passing. This includes real estate, bank accounts, investments, and personal possessions. The living trust can be modified over time upon your directives but takes effect in the event of your passing. This means that you are not taking an irreversible decision by placing relevant assets or naming beneficiaries in your trust. This flexibility adds to the popularity of this vehicle. 

revocable living trust is one of the primary ways to name beneficiaries for your estate, avoid probate, and minimize taxes. In estate planning, it is considered a primary measure for your estate distribution. 

Investment Accounts

There are various instances where your assets, such as retirement funds, might already have a named beneficiary. You may not need to place them in a living trust or quote them in your will in such cases. That is why you must carry out your estate planning with the guidance of a professional estate planning attorney. Depending upon your specific situation, you can receive personalized consultation on best distributing your assets to your loved ones. 

Protecting Your Interests And Assets with Estate Planning

Our estate planning attorneys will advise you on the various methods used to safeguard one’s interests. An estate plan is a clear definition of your intention for asset and property distribution once you have passed. Taking time now to plan for the future helps reduce the burdens placed on your family after your death.

We utilize estate planning techniques that range from drafting a simple will to establishing a charitable foundation. The breadth of our estate planning practice spans: wills and living wills, trusts, Medicare and assisted living planning, Medicaid issues, establishing charitable trusts and foundations, durable powers of attorney, advanced directives for healthcare guardianships/conservatorships, and appointing an
estate administrator.

Contact MSN's Estate Planning Lawyers

Estate planning certainly makes a difference for families everywhere. Those families that understand the value of estate planning and utilize legal services to prepare and implement a plan early on will find themselves in a more balanced state. While estate planning can seem like one item that should be the last thing on many people’s agenda, the right estate planning lawyers can help set your house in order from an estate standpoint.

Probate lawyers can help families to ensure that elements such as corporate income tax, business law, tax law, real estate law, and other legal issues are all accounted for when it comes to estate planning. Each family may have a different situation and may encompass elder planning, asset protection, incapacity planning, corporate law, business planning, and offer legal advice that provides you with peace of mind.

With extensive legal expertise and specialized experience in estate planning, our legal team can help you go through the intricacies of the process with the utmost ease. From helping you draft your financial power of attorney to support you in your asset distribution plans, our team is there for you at every step. This helps you rest assured that no matter what the future holds, you will be able to stay true to the promises of taking care of your loved ones. In addition to taking a burden off of your shoulders, this also gives you the peace of mind you need as you move forward in the journey of life.

To see how our estate planning solutions can help, don’t hesitate to contact us for a detailed consultation today. We serve clients with estate planning matters in the Birmingham area and will be glad to understand your requirements and guide you through processes that are helpful for your personal and business needs. Remember to secure your hard work in your businesses and elements related to your businesses to preserve wealth and leave a legacy. 

1780 GADSDEN HWY
BIRMINGHAM, AL 35235

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