No one likes to think about what will happen if we die. It’s not a pleasant subject and most of us would prefer to focus on happier thoughts. As much as we’d like to avoid dealing with it though, estate planning is one of the most important things you can do for your family. It ensures that your affairs are in order when the unthinkable happens and, more often than not, clients feel immense relief once they have prepared their estate plan. That comes from having a comfort level with your attorney.
Estate planning begins with a no-charge consultation. From that discussion, you should understand all aspects of the estate planning process and be given recommendations of how to arrange your affairs to best achieve your personal goals. You and your attorney should discuss:
- What a Will is
- What types of Wills there are
- What a Will is for
- How a Will differs from a Revocable Trust
- What is the difference between a Revocable Trust and an Irrevocable Trust
- When should you use an Irrevocable Trust
- What happens if a loved one has special needs
- How to create a distribution to children, or grandchildren, who are minors
- How to ensure that a distribution is used for the care, support and maintenance of beneficiaries
- What are the different types of Powers of Attorney
- What is a Living Will and a Medical Directive
- Is an Estate Plan even necessary
- What are your goals
- What is the cost
- Can a Will or Trust be amended and what is the cost of an amendment
- How do you fund a trust
- What happens to your personal property (your stuff)
- What happens to your real property (your home/land)
There are no ‘dumb’ estate planning questions just as there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way for you to distribute your estate to your beneficiaries. Everything and anything you think of is on the table and you should feel at ease to ask as many different questions as you need answers for. All of that requires an experienced estate planning attorney who understands what it takes to properly plan your estate.
Paul has prepared hundreds of estate plans for clients of all ages and all situations. His goal is to ensure you understand the process, are comfortable and, most importantly, that the estate plan does what it is designed to do; administer your estate exactly how you want it to be administered.