Do I Need a Lawyer For Estate Planning?

You do not need a lawyer to prepare a will or other estate planning documents unless you have advanced estate planning needs. However, taking care of your estate is a task that should be done sooner than later.

You do not need a lawyer to prepare a will or other estate planning documents unless you have advanced estate planning needs. However, taking care of your estate is a task that should be done sooner than later. Establishing how you want to manage your estate and pass them down to your loved ones is crucial, and prevents your assets from being handled in a way that you don’t agree with.

GeauxPlans is designed to make estate planning easy and affordable without the need to hire an attorney. GeauxPlans can handle essential estate planning needs.

If you have advanced estate planning needs, you may need an attorney to help prepare your estate planning documents. Determining if you need a seasoned estate planning lawyer can be difficult, so consider if the following scenarios apply to you. If the following situations apply to you, then it might be worth contacting an estate planning lawyer for assistance.

You may need an estate planning lawyer if you have a large estate

Having a large estate may mean that your estate plan should contain additional documents to address various parts of your estate. A larger estate can result in higher overall costs or higher estate taxes. An attorney can help suggest which estate planning tools may be most effective so you can minimize estate taxes and protect more of your estate.

You may need an estate planning attorney if you need lifetime asset protection

Neither a will nor a revocable will provide asset protection for the creator. Asset protection often requires the use of irrevocable trust planning. Asset protection concerns may include concerns about lawsuits and other unforeseeable claims, divorce, or nursing home poverty.

You may need a lawyer if you have a special needs beneficiary

A special needs beneficiary would include a person who is receiving need-based governmental benefits, such as Medicaid. A direct gift to such an individual may jeopardize their benefits. A special needs trust is a common tool designed to protect the benefits of a special needs beneficiary. You would likely need an estate planning attorney to prepare such a specially designed trust.

You may need an attorney if you wish to impose restrictions upon remarriage of a surviving spouse

No one assumes that a surviving spouse may meet someone in the future and decide to marry again. There are two schools of thought on this issue: (1) my surviving spouse will keep our interest at heart and safeguard a legacy; or (2) I prefer to restrict either control or access to assets of a deceased spouse to protect a legacy from the undue influence of a future spouse. Imposing restrictions upon remarriage would likely require the special drafting skills of an estate planning attorney.

You may need a lawyer for estate planning if you have high-value assets

Assets that have a higher value, such as fine art, may require extra security precautions. You might have specific stipulations for how you want them to be handled while you are alive and after your death. An attorney can help you figure out a plan to add layers of protection to keep your valuable assets secure.

You do not need an attorney for essential estate planning

There are many scenarios that may prompt you to obtain the help of an estate planning lawyer. For basic estate planning needs and essential estate planning documents, GeauxPlans is an easy and affordable solution.

GeauxPlans is also backed by a triple guaranty, so you can test drive your GeauxPlan for an entire year. Also, GeauxPlans is owned and maintained by an estate planning law firm, so GeauxPlans’ estate planning forms are attorney-grade (and used in the actual practice of law). You can also test drive your GeauxPlan for an entire year. If it turns out that you have more advanced estate planning needs within one year of purchase, then you will receive a 100% credit of your GeauxPlans fee towards an advanced estate plan prepared by an affiliated estate planning law firm. You can also add lifetime protection to your GeauxPlan with the Legal Edge Plan.

Not sure where to start?

Tell us about yourself and we'll match you with the right plan!
#1 Choose Your State

If you spend time in more than one state, use the state where you are registered to vote, or maintain a driver's license, or intend to return if you are temporarily residing in another state.

#2 Are you married?
#3 Do you want to plan for what happens when you die?

You get to decide who's in control after you die, who gets your assets, and when, as well as who cares for children, etc.

#4 Do you own any real estate in the state of Louisiana?
#5 OK, so probate will be required in Louisiana. It's a bit more work, but do you want to avoid the probate process by transferring your assets to a Living Trust?

GeauxPlans can walk you through the process - step by step.

#5 Do you own probate assets worth more than $125,000?

Probate assets include property that passes by beneficiary designation or that isn't already in a trust. Put another way, probate assets do not include life insurance or annuity proceeds (unless your estate is the beneficiary), retirement assets, usufruct or life estate property, and other assets with named beneficiaries, such pay on death accounts.

#6 Do you have any minor children?

Include both biological and legally adopted children.

Do I Need a Lawyer For Estate Planning?
Do I Need a Lawyer For Estate Planning?
Do I Need a Lawyer For Estate Planning?
#4 If you lose capacity, do you want someone you trust to make financial or healthcare decisions for you?

Incapacity can result from any of the following:

  • Accidents
  • Injuries
  • Medical conditions
  • Degenerative diseases
  • Anything that can cause you from acting on your own behalf, whether temporarily or permanently

If something happens to you, someone should be able to make medical and financial decisions for you, like taking care of bills and other financial obligations, consenting to medical procedures, making care arrangements, and accessing proctected health information.

Do I Need a Lawyer For Estate Planning?
#5 Do you need authority to make financial or medical decisions for another person?

For example, a college student who is no longer a minor, or an elderly person (perhaps a parent) may need assistance with financial or medical decisions.

#6 Do you seek privacy or improved control of your assets during life?

For example, do you wish to:

  • Minimize or avoid any public record or information about personal assets?
  • Shield any public information from creditors or predators?
  • Keep assets segregated as separate property in the event of a second marriage?
#7 It sounds like you need some advice.

GeauxPlans is owned and administered by an estate planning law firm. If you have questions or would like a complimentary consultation, please submit your inquiry.

If you have questions, just reach out. Our support team stands ready to assist you.

Do you have any questions?

Support team: M-F, 8am-5pm CST
Call us: +1 (855) 213-6300