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Estate Planning Law

Estate planning typically involves the preparing of estate dispersal upon a person's death. Wills, trusts, Power Of Attorney (financial and medical) and property dispersal are usual documents that are included in estate planning. There are a variety of ways to conduct an estate planning. To learn more about estate planning and estate planning laws, take a look at the questions below. These are just a few of the more commonly asked estate planning questions that have been answered by Experts.

Should estate planning attorneys be held accountable for understanding the provisions of an annuity contract when the attorney has specific knowledge that the client owns an annuity as part of an estate inventory of assets?

Generally, the estate planning attorney wouldn't be required to add the annuity to the client's estate planning unless the client requested it. However, the attorney should take the time to read and understand the effects of such a move if the client were to request the annuity as part of the overall estate assets. The attorney's knowledge of estate planning is usually the reason a client hires the attorney, however an attorney is only able to accommodate the clients estate planning if that is the client's wish.

I met with an estate planning lawyer and gave him my personal information including personal e-mail address to reply. He sent my personal information ($16M net worth ) to the e-mail address on my company business card which goes to all company employees. What are my options?

Client privacy is the utmost importance when conducting business with an attorney. It is the duty of an attorney to ensure the client's case information remains private. The estate planning attorney should have taken extra precautions when sending sensitive information via e-mail. Your attorney client privileges have been violated and you should report this incident to your State Bar Association.

You may be in a position to file a malpractice suit against the attorney if you were financially affected by the attorney's mistakes. If nothing else, you should demand your retainer fee be returned along with any expenses incurred during the estate planning attorney's duties.

I met with an Estate Planning attorney to discuss preparation of my Will. She sent a letter for signature which includes a retainer fee if I use her services per hour. She then asked me to send back the documents and that she would bill me for her services. Is this legal?

If you have signed an agreement with the estate planning attorney that you would pay for any services conducted, then you would be expected to pay. However, if you have not made this agreement, there is nothing to pay for. If the estate planning attorney has sent you the information pertaining to the will, and you use that information, you would have to pay for those services. If you don't want to pay the attorney, you will need to return any information regarding the will or the attorney could sue you for default of payment.

My wife and I are Texas residents but our estate planning was drawn up in WI. Are the laws different between the two states? We have land and ties to WI.

The laws pertaining to estate planning are different from WI and Texas. You need to have an estate planning attorney in Texas to look at your Wisconsin Estate plans. The Texas estate planning attorney could make any changes needed to abide by Texas law. Depending upon the language of the Wisconsin documents, you may need two sets of estate planning, one for each state. It is common practice for an estate to have more than one set of documents pertaining to estate planning when multiple state laws are involved.

Estate planning can sometimes be a difficult task to take on if the person is unfamiliar with the legal language. In many cases the assistance of an estate planning attorney is required. The attorney can properly document the needed information and take the guess work out of the task. If you have questions regarding estate planning, you should ask an Expert for legal insight.
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