Estate planning can be tricky business: more often than not, people who want to write an iron-clad will or establish a strong trust want to both save their heirs money and ensure that their arrangements cannot easily be contested. For that reason, many people get confused as to whether they should hire a licensed attorney or a certified public accountant (CPA) to help plan their estate.
Choosing Between a CPA and an Estate Planning Attorney
Before deciding whether you need a CPA or an estate planning attorney, it is important to understand the role of each.
A certified public accountant is tax professional. Depending on their specialty and further training, they may be licensed to do everything from preparing tax statements to auditing businesses and giving financial advice. When it comes to estate planning, a CPA can recommend strategies to minimize wealth taxes, and can even help ensure that a trust is properly run and funded.
Estate planning attorneys, on the other hand, are experts in their state’s probate code: if you need to amend a will, establish a trust, or make any sort of legal decision, you should always consult an attorney. They know how to draft legal documents in compliance with Arkansas state law.
Since estate planning is a complex discipline where even a minor mistake can invalidate a document or culminate in a court challenge, nobody except a licensed lawyer should practice or attempt to practice estate law.
The Advantage of Estate Planning Attorneys
We have already established that estate planning attorneys are—as their title suggests—estate planning experts. However, they are also intimately familiar with asset protection and tax planning.
Consider this: while Arkansas does not have its own estate tax, wealthy Arkansas residents may still face heavy estate taxes from the federal government. An estate and tax planning attorney knows how federal and state laws interact, and is therefore best positioned to ensure that estate plans are both legally binding and financially practical.
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If you are looking for guidance on estate planning and wealth management, send Quraishi Law a message online or call us today to schedule a free telephone meeting.
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