Estate Planning Alaska: What You Need to Know
Wyatt & Butterfield, LLC is a trusted Estate planning Alaska law firm in Anchorage, AK. We provide legal assistance with wills, trusts, estate planning, and more.
The Basics of Estate Planning in Alaska
Although many people believe this is something only the sick or wealthy require, estate planning in Alaska covers aspects of everyone’s lives. Therefore, since it is so essential and inherently complex, it is good to learn about what it consists of and then contact a reputable law firm to begin the process.
Estate planning refers to the legal practice of preparing written directions for your family and executor to follow if you become disabled or die. This ensures that your wishes are known while you are still capable of expressing them.
In addition to elements like the power of attorney and guardianship, a customized estate plan determines how the estate is managed while you are alive, if you become incapacitated, or after you die. The estate consists of assets, personal belongings, property, and any debts or taxes owed.
Estate law is complicated. Contact an estate planning attorney in Anchorage from Wyatt & Butterfield, LLC, for more information.
Alaska Laws About the Estate Planning Process
Consulting with a law office experienced in handling Alaska laws about estate planning is a vital step in preparing last wills and trusts. They can outline the critical decisions you will and trusts need to make to ensure your will is valid, including healthcare-related financial and planning.
Estate plans address essential details like the following:
- Choosing a legal guardian
- Alaska probate
- End-of-life planning
- Estate administration
- Estate tax planning
- Financial decisions
- Life insurance
- Living trust
- Long-term care
- Health care directives
- Organ donation
When a person dies without a last will or their will is invalid, their estate is intestate, and the probate process begins. The court might appoint an executor or a friend or family member as the administrator to determine how your assets and property will be distributed. Probate is an expensive and time consuming process. It is far less expensive to have a prepared estate plan which will guarantee that your final wishes will be honored.
Estate Planning for Minors
Given the nature of estate law, there are many details you need to consider when preparing an estate plan, especially if you have minor children. Although it may seem complicated now, estate plans are not meant to hinder your estate but protect your family.
The estate plan may include the following:
- Children’s trusts
- Guardianship of minors
- Powers of attorney for adults and guardians
Step-parents or other nonbiological parents who might claim custody over a child’s estate need to understand that they cannot inherit the estate unless stated in a will. Likewise, step-children do not automatically inherit from step-parents and may be left out entirely.
Alaska Estate Planning Laws
Full-service estate planning attorneys familiar with Alaska estate planning laws offer legal advice on various matters that their clients require to avoid the probate process. Since a person’s estate is as individual as they are, it is essential to select a law office practicing an estate planning law that benefits their unique situation.
For example, for those whose estate includes ownership in a company, choosing an estate planning attorney with experience in business law can assist with business succession planning. They can draft, review, and edit documents necessary for the planning of the estate.
Choose an Estate Planning Lawyer for Your Comprehensive Estate Plan
Estate planning law attorneys knowledgeable of Alaska law requirements offer simple steps to estate planning among the legal services they provide. As trusted estate planning attorneys, Wyatt & Butterfield, LLC, practices helping families with asset protection planning and other financial matters related to estate planning in Alaska, and healthcare planning.
The range of issues many families and seniors face are better addressed through wise and pre-emptive measures before a crisis arises. The right law office can offer sound advice and help draw up the essential legal documents to ensure that your wishes are carried out.
The right lawyer will take time to develop a solid attorney-client relationship with you while they peruse your information and create a full-service plan to ensure your estate doesn’t go to probate court.
Why Bother Estate Planning in Anchorage?
Estate planning in Anchorage is an essential step in a person’s life. Unfortunately, clients often prefer to avoid thinking of potentially depressing or stressful aspects like what will happen to their belongings. They are under the impression that their belongings will automatically pass to their spouse or children if they don’t plan for this eventuality.
Without a valid will, a person’s estate is called intestate after their death, and the courts determine to whom the assets are distributed. Having one’s wishes for their estate documented in a legally binding manner avoids this possibility.
Estate Planning Info & FAQs
For more estate planning info & FAQs, you should consult a skilled and reliable legal advisor. Generally, people 65 or older are twice to three times as likely to plan their estate than younger people. Since untimely illnesses or accidental death can occur at any age, adults of any age need to make plans to ensure their wishes aren’t overlooked or misunderstood.
An estate plan is more than merely a will. Although the will specifies how and to whom assets are divided, full-service estate planning outlines much more. It can assign guardianship of children when you cannot care for them. It can declare who you want to make decisions regarding your health and finances if you are incapacitated. Prospective clients should discuss their circumstances with lawyers experienced in all relevant matters.
Lawyers with practice areas that include an advance directive, living trusts, estate plans, and last will offer services that manage your long-term individual needs. Attorneys from Wyatt & Butterfield serve Wasilla, Eagle River, Chugiak, and other nearby areas in South Central Alaska. They handle a range of estate planning needs, understand state statutes, and know precisely how to apply them to work for you.
Get Help From a Full-Service Estate Planning and Probate Law Firm in Alaska
Estate planning in Alaska allows people to make vital decisions and outline directions regarding what they want to happen after they die. This makes asset distribution more straightforward and less expensive. It also reduces the likelihood of familial arguments over what one’s descendants believe their last wishes were.
No matter what stage of life you are in, estate planning can be helpful, if not essential. Young professionals and families with children should consider setting themselves and their families up for success in the future. This looks different from person to person. It might include retirement planning for yourself and/or your partner, establishing a guardianship for your kids, or setting up trusts for your minor children. Along these same lines of preparing for the future, if you or a loved one is past retirement age, the right estate planning lawyer can help with critical issues related to end-of-life planning and establish the ideal provisions for you. It is never too early to plan!
Contact Wyatt & Butterfield, LLC’s team of law professionals for an initial consultation to plan for your future. Call our office at 907-277-0300 today.