Here we are sharing 3 reasons you should work with an attorney when preparing your will and other important documents in your estate plan. We’ll share them in three separate posts and expand a little bit on each reason!
Here is reason number two of the three reasons you should work with an attorney when getting a Last Will & Testament and other important estate planning documents in place:
The number of choices made during even a straight forward, basic (or foundational) estate plan are usually in excess of forty. That is forty decisions that each significantly impact your family, your life, your money, your body and your legacy. Examples of decisions in preparing your last will and testament include:
- Who will be your Executor?
- What happens if they cannot do it?
- Should you have BOTH your children be Executor simultaneously?
- Can I give my young children their inheritance and tell them what do with it?
Another example we walk our clients through is:
- What does “end of life decisions” mean?
- What does your Agent under your Advance Directive for Health Care do for you at the end of your life based on your preferences?
- Can your Agent override your preferences if you are able to speak?
- Can your Agent decide not to serve as Agent?
- What happens if your Agent decides not to serve as Agent?
The fact is that many of these decisions, if not understood when made and not made correctly based on your situation, your family, your decisions, your personal experiences, well there is no way to fix after you become incapacitated or die. Your family will be burdened by the consequences. Your family will be trying to fill in the gaps of expectations.
Which is the absolute opposite of what people have in mind when they prepare a Will and an estate plan. Almost every person I meet with say they want to protect their family from being burdened, from chaos, from uncertainty and that is why they want an estate plan.
If you are not working with an experienced attorney, or any attorney, you may not appreciate these forty + choices which need to be made in any foundational plan. Working with an attorney who will explain the pros and cons, the consequences and benefits of making this choice or that will ensure that your goal of preparing a plan to help your family is met. Again, it is too late when you become incapacitated or die to fix.