Written by Kelly S. Olson Pedersen, CFP®, CDFA
Thinking things through to get a sense of direction
Consulting an estate planning attorney can be an eerie feeling; after all, you are making plans for your death! We coach our clients to try to think through some of the main topics BEFORE you see your attorney. This will give you sense of direction for how you would like things to happen.
Make sure you name the right people for the right seats
There are some significant roles you are naming people to fill and it’s best to think through all of the responsibilities, as some roles can be VERY tough.
Remember…it’s not a popularity contest! You are not stating which child is the smartest or which one is your favorite! It’s about choosing the right person for the right role.
It’s emotional….but necessary
There are a lot of emotions that will come into play when making your decisions, as well as when it is time for your decisions to be acted upon. For example, naming only one child to make an end of life decision instead of all of the children, can lead to a lot of ill feelings and could potentially ruin relationships if there is a disagreement. But because they don’t all have to agree, a decision will have been made vs. endless arguments trying to come to a united decision.
Although it is hard to imagine anyone taking your place, it is important to really think through the decision when you name a guardian for your young children or a trustee for your older children. Keep in mind, these people might change as time goes by.
A recommendation we make to all of our parents with kids heading off to college is to get a power of attorney for your child just in case. This ensures there is someone in line to be responsible for them after they turn 18 – we have heard a lot of hospital stories about this!!!
Other items to consider
Click on the link below for a short list of items you can think about before you talk with your attorney or just to review to see if there is anything new you should bring up for a revision.
As always, feel free to call us to discuss any of these topics!!!