Top Elk Point, SD Estate Planning Lawyers Near You
Estate Planning Lawyers | North Sioux City Office | Serving Elk Point, SD
600 Stevens Port Drive, Suite 107, North Sioux City, SD 57049
Estate Planning Lawyers | Dakota Dunes Office | Serving Elk Point, SD
711 Sioux Point Road, Suite 200, Dakota Dunes, SD 57049
Elk Point Estate Planning Information
Lead Counsel independently verifies Estate Planning attorneys in Elk Point and checks their standing with South Dakota bar associations.Our Verification Process and Criteria
- Ample Experience Attorneys must meet stringent qualifications and prove they practice in the area of law they’re verified in.
- Good Standing Be in good standing with their bar associations and maintain a clean disciplinary record.
- Annual Review Submit to an annual review to retain their Lead Counsel Verified status.
- Client Commitment Pledge to follow the highest quality client service and ethical standards.
Estate Planning For the FutureEstate planning uses legal documents to make decisions about what will happen to your property and assets after death. Planning for the future can also involve designating certain representatives who can make financial decisions if you are incapacitated or unable to communicate. Without an estate plan, any real estate, bank accounts, and personal property will be distributed according to state law, even if it would have been against your wishes.
What Are Estate Planning Tools?There are many estate planning tools that can offer different benefits for how to plan for the future while allowing you to use your assets in the present. Some common estate planning documents include:
- Living trust or revocable trust
- Irrevocable trust
- Special needs trust
- Living will or advance healthcare directive
- Power of attorney
Wills and TrustsA will is the most common estate planning too. A will is simple to make and can be updated or changed. After you pass away, the court will go through the process of estate administration with your will in probate court, to pay off any liabilities and distribute your assets to your beneficiaries. Trusts can allow you to avoid probate court altogether by naming trustees to distribute your estate assets to your beneficiaries. Some trusts can also provide asset protection and offer proper estate planning benefits for your loved ones.
Living Wills and Healthcare DirectivesA living will can allow you to make healthcare decisions while you are still alive if you are no longer able to communicate your wishes. Also known as an advance healthcare directive, if you become seriously ill or incapacitated, your living will can make specific provisions about your own medical treatment, including what type of procedures you do not want to receive. You can also use a durable power of attorney to designate a health care proxy to make long-term care healthcare decisions on your behalf. A South Dakota elder law attorney or estate attorney can give you more information about living wills.
How Much Does Estate Planning Cost in Elk Point?The cost of estate planning can depend on your individual circumstances. Some estate planning attorneys in Elk Point will prepare documents like a will or power of attorney for a flat fee. Other legal services may be offered based on the attorney’s hourly fees. The costs of legal services can depend on the type of estate plan, amount of assets, and an attorney’s years of experience. In some cases, the lawyer can provide a free consultation to help you decide which estate planning law firm is right for you.
Do I Need an Estate Planning Lawyer?South Dakota estate planning law and individual legal issues are unique. Getting help from an estate planning law firm can help, especially if you own substantial assets and want to plan for your family’s future. An estate lawyer can give you legal advice and guide you toward the best options to minimize your estate taxes, provide the most for your future beneficiaries, and give you peace of mind.
When Should I Start Estate Planning?Many people put off making an estate plan because they don’t think they need to. It is never too early to make plans for what might happen if you become incapacitated or pass away. If you get married, have a child, or begin to accumulate significant assets, it is time to think about making plans to provide for your loved ones. An Elk Point estate planning law office can provide an initial consultation to help you make a decision for your estate planning needs.
What estate planning documents do you need?Every estate plan should include a last will and testament or establish a trust. This will allow you to state how you wish to distribute your assets to beneficiaries upon your death. A power of attorney declaration will name someone you trust to handle your health care and/or financial decisions if you are ever unable to. An advanced directive (also known as a living will) will state your wishes for any care you want to receive if you are unable to make those decisions at the time. This is useful when it comes to end-of-life care or if you ever need life-saving care because of an accident or illness.
What sort of issues can I seek legal help with?
Specialized legal help is available for most legal issues. Each case is unique; seeking legal help is a smart first step toward understanding your legal situation and seeking the best path toward resolution for your case. An experienced lawyer understands the local laws surrounding your case and what your best legal options might be. More importantly, there are certain situations and circumstances – such as being charged with a crime – where you should always seek experienced legal help.
Top Questions to Ask a Lawyer
- What is the usual process to resolve my case? How long will it take to resolve this?
- What are likely outcomes of a case like mine? What should I expect?
An experienced lawyer should be able to communicate a basic “road map” on how to proceed. The lawyer should be able to walk you through the anticipated process, key considerations, and potential pitfalls to avoid. Once you’ve laid out the facts of your situation to the lawyer, he/she should be able to frame expectations and likely scenarios to help you understand your legal issue.
Tips on Hiring an Experienced Lawyer with Estate Planning Cases
The more experienced a lawyer is in legal practice, the more likely he/she will be able to bring about a successful resolution to your issue. Since experience matters, lawyers who’ve been practicing law for many years (with a successful track record) tend to be in high demand. You should look for information about a lawyer’s experience and ask questions during the initial meeting. It’s a very good idea to ask the lawyer how many years he/she has been practicing law and the expected outcome of your case.
Common legal terms explained
Plaintiff – a person or party who brings a lawsuit against another person(s) or party/parties in a court of law. Private persons or parties can only file suit in civil court.
Judgment – A decision of the court. Also known as a decree or order. Judgments handed down by the court are usually binding on the parties before the court.