Estate planning is a collaborative effort. You’ll need the guidance of a seasoned estate planning attorney, but your lawyer can’t do everything on their own. They’ll need to know a little bit about your life, your family, your goals, and the kind of legacy you wish to leave.
In other words, two-way communication is essential. One way you can foster a meaningful dialogue is to ask the right kinds of questions. Here are five examples to get you started.
5 Questions for Your Estate Planning Lawyer
1) How can I make sure my children are safe and sound?
If you have children who are still minors, one of your big concerns will be ensuring they are taken care of, even if you and your partner both die suddenly. Your lawyer should be able to walk you through some specific avenues of keeping your kids properly protected. Some potential subjects to broach here include:
- Guardianship (who will take care of your kids)
- Documentation (how can you make your wishes known?)
- Life insurance and other ways to ensure your kids and their caretakers have the right financial assets
2) What will happen should I become medically incapacitated?
Another important aspect of estate planning is being sure that, should you become medically incapacitated for any reason, your wishes are still upheld.
For example, what happens if you are put into a coma, or if a sudden illness or injury prohibits you from communicating with your loved ones? Who will make your healthcare decisions? Who will make your financial and business decisions? And how can you make sure that your wishes are expressed in a clear way?
There are a number of healthcare directives and power of attorneys that can help you here. Ask your estate planning law firm about the options.
3) Do I need a trust? And if so, what kind?
Sometimes it’s assumed that estate planning is mostly just a matter of creating a will. Actually, a will alone is probably not going to be sufficient for helping your heirs avoid probate court. One way you can do that is by establishing some sort of a trust.
Someone from your estate planning law firm will be able to point you toward the type of trust that will help you accomplish your estate planning goals.
4) What can I do to provide resources to a charity or non-profit?
Legacy gifting is one of the big concerns in estate planning. While your top priority will surely be caring for your loved ones, you may also want to provide an endowment to a charity, a shelter, a cause, a church, or a political organization whose interests align with yours, and whose work you find meaningful.
Again, there are different ways in which this can be achieved, and if it’s something you’re interested in, you need only speak with your estate law firm. They can help you understand the available options.
5) How often should my estate plan be revised?
Meeting with your estate law firm isn’t a one-time thing. You’ll want to revise your estate plan regularly. Certainly, you’ll want to keep your attorney informed of any changes to your family or your assets. Some examples might include marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, the birth of a grandchild, the adoption of a child or grandchild, the purchase of real estate, or significant financial gains or losses.
Also, it’s best to reflect on your estate plan once a year or so, just to be sure that it still reflects your wishes and the realities of your estate.
Your attorney can counsel you further.
Meet with an Estate Planning Lawyer Today
Don’t leave your estate plans up in the air. Create an open dialogue with an estate planning lawyer today. Reach out to Singh Law Firm to schedule an appointment with us.