Beyond Possessions and Assets: Four Other Cases Where You Should Contact a Probate Lawyer

Many people think that they only need the help of a probate lawyer if they have significant assets and they want to write a will. However, even if you just have moderate assets or even not much at all, there are key cases where you may want to schedule some time with a probate lawyer. Here are four signs you may want to schedule a consultation.

1. You Have Children

Do you have minor children? If so, you need a will that outlines who their guardian will be if you and their co-parent pass on. In this case, you may also want to sign up for life insurance, and you may want to work with a probate lawyer to set up a trust for the life insurance proceeds if you die. That should stipulate how much of the life insurance your children's guardians will receive, as well as how much the children will receive directly.

2. You Have Dependents

It's not just minor children that need taking care of. If you have any other dependents, you may want to work with a probate lawyer to secure their future after your passing. For instance, if you take care of a disabled adult child, you may want to name a caretaker or someone to have power of attorney over that dependent. Then, you don't have to worry as much about what will happen to that individual after your passing.

3. You Own a Business

Failure to create a succession plan may mean that your business will close if you suffer an unexpected, untimely death. Luckily, that is easy to plan for. A probate lawyer can help you square away partnerships and shareholder agreements, they can help you set up opportunities for employee buyouts and, best of all, they can help arrange a company constitution so that you can be assured that your business will continue after you are gone.

4. You Want to Control What Happens to You in a Medical Emergency

Probate lawyers don't just draft wills or business succession documents—they can also help you create an advanced health care directive. This is a document that spells out exactly what you want to happen in a medical emergency.

For instance, imagine that you don't want to be hooked up to feeding tubes while you are in a coma. In that case, you can specify that in your health care directive. You can also specify whether or not you want the paramedics to try to revive you if you are in cardiac arrest.