Estate Planning and Probate Lawyer in Birmingham
Handling Wills and Power of Attorney in Alabama
If something were to happen to you today, would your family and friends be taken care of tomorrow? Planning your will may seem like a distant chore, but handling your affairs early and thoroughly will not only ensure your properties and funds are taken care of, but it can also save your loved ones from additional strain and grief. If you need to establish or revise your estate plan, contact our firm.
Our estate planning attorneys at Revill Law Firm have extensive experience and a proven record of success. Our lead attorney, Victor Revill, was selected as a 2017 Top Attorney in Birmingham Magazine, and won the Client Satisfaction Award of the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys in 2015 and 2016. At Revill Law Firm, we pride ourselves in the dedication and care we provide for each and every client.
Call our firm today at (205) 928-6544!
The Key Components of an Estate Plan
Some people mistakenly believe a person can have either an estate plan or a will, but in fact a will is one singular component of an estate plan. An estate plan is comprised of a number of important documents, including a will, power of attorney, and any number of trusts and advanced health care directives. The most essential documents are the will and power of attorney, though individuals may choose to add trusts and other documents, depending on their needs.
What is a Will?
A will is the most basic aspect of an estate plan, as it simply designates who will receive what upon a person’s death. The writer of the will, called a testator, may appoint specific belongings to certain family members and friends, including properties, funds, heirlooms, and other assets. The testator may also use the will to make final donations to charities, or to appoint guardians for minor children.
What is Power of Attorney?
Power of attorney provides a loved one with the authority to handle your financial and health concerns when you are otherwise unable to. The power of attorney grants a person the power to access your account information, pay bills, and handle other necessary expenses. The authority of your chosen loved one only comes into play in the case of extreme injury or illness. If, for example, a person is in a coma, is suffering severe dementia, or is deathly ill, the power of attorney will grant authority until health or competency is restored.
Similarly, medical power of attorney allows the appointed person to make medical decisions for a person when they are otherwise unable to do so. In addition to appointing a person to make these decisions, you may also leave a directive of preferred health care methods.
In the event that a person does not leave behind a will or other documents to sufficiently handle all remaining legal issues, an estate may go into probate. Probate court will handle the assets, expenses, and debts of the deceased, including any taxes due or assets in need of distribution.
An estate may also go into probate if a family member or loved one disputes a will. The probate court will handle disputes by analyzing the wishes of the deceased as expressed in the will, and any objections made by the deceased person’s loved ones.
Due to the sensitive nature of these types of family matters, probate court is often complicated, emotionally difficult, and time-consuming. Hiring a probate attorney can help you and your family handle the coming difficulty with compassion and efficiency.
Probate attorneys typically assist with the following:
- Tracking accounts and assets
- Settling disputes between beneficiaries
- Managing debts and payments left by the deceased
- Dividing assets
- Determining estate taxes
- Appraising properties and certain assets
- Assisting with collecting life insurance
Let Revill Law Firm Help Your Family
When you’re dealing with legal paperwork that directly affects your loved ones, you want to make sure the job is done right. Our estate planning attorneys can help you make the necessary plans and designate beneficiaries for your assets, be they large or small.
If you have lost a loved one, we understand how overwhelmed you may feel, especially if you are facing probate court. The legal team at Revill Law Firm is well-versed in the laws of probate, and we know how to protect your loved one’s best interest and secure your assets.
For help with probate or estate planning, contact Revill Law Firm.