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Protecting Your Legacy Through Estate Planning

As you get older, establishing an estate plan that protects your family and your legacy becomes more important than ever. Whether you need to establish a trust to ensure the financial security of your children or you need help writing your will, attorney Todd Higey can help you with a full spectrum of estate planning services.

With 25 years of experience assisting individuals and families in Birmingham, Todd is able to assist clients with various estate planning needs, including complex and high-asset estate plans. Working with a lawyer on your estate plan can help save you and your family more stress down the road. When you choose Higey Law LLC, you can rest assured that your estate is in great hands.

Comprehensive Estate Plans To Protect Your Future

An estate plan comprises various legal and financial documents that name your beneficiaries, who you want to receive certain assets, your medical wishes and guardianship of minor children. While it is never easy to think about a time when you cannot take care of your family members, establishing a comprehensive estate plan can secure their futures.

Your estate plan may include:

  • A will
  • Trusts
  • Powers of attorney
  • Guardianship and/or Conservatorship appointments

If you pass away without a will, Alabama probate courts will decide who inherits certain assets based on state law. Unfortunately, these decisions often do not align with what you would have chosen. The best way to ensure the future you envision for your family is to establish an estate plan. Estate plans can also provide tax benefits, protect your assets and protect your privacy. If you recently lost a loved one, attorney Higey can help you with the estate administration process.

Estate Planning Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to estate planning, knowledge is power. Attorney Higey understands this and seeks to quickly and efficiently answer any questions his clients may have. To get started, here are a few of the ones he sees most often.

What should I consider when choosing an executor or trustee? What powers does an executor or trustee have?

An estate executor is the one who administers an estate. They have the power to inventory assets and then distribute them per the estate plan. They can access accounts and pay debts. A trustee, similarly, is in charge of making distributions from a trust to the proper beneficiaries. They will follow the instructions in the trust in the same way the executor follows the instructions in the overall estate plan.

For both, the most important thing is to find someone you trust who will make sure that your wishes and instructions are honored. You also need someone who understands the complex legal process and who is willing to take it on. Often, it is best to have someone who lives nearby and can respond quickly when needed. You can choose a family member for either of these roles, but you don’t have to do so.

Can I update my estate plan, and how often should I review it?

Yes, you can and should update your estate plan. There are two schools of thought when it comes to reviews. First, you can set up a schedule, such as an annual review. Second, you can look for major life events – such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child or grandchild, or the sale of a business – and use those as triggers that indicate it is time for a review.

Many people use a combination of both tactics so that they can make sure their plans continue to reflect their preferences over time.

Compassionate Legal Guidance You Can Trust

Trusting someone else with something as sensitive and important as your estate and your family’s future can be difficult. Todd knows how to navigate these sensitive issues. Once you speak with him, you’ll feel assured that your family, assets and estate plan will be in the hands of a skilled and experienced lawyer. To schedule a consultation at his Birmingham office, contact Higey Law LLC by calling 205-623-4774 or completing an online contact form.