Estate planning is never an easy task. Not only do you have to confront the inevitability of your own demise, but the sheer amount of legal paperwork necessary to create an effective plan can also be nausea-inducing.
This massive legal roadblock is why it’s heavily recommended to take on the services of an estate planning attorney. These specialized legal experts can take a significant amount of work off your plate while also ensuring that the plan is foolproof and will not be subject to or the cause of any significant litigation once the plan goes into effect.
While estate planning attorneys can save you from a lot of the legwork when creating your plan, they can’t do everything for you. It’s up to you to determine what the purpose of the plan is and what goals you hope to accomplish so that they can begin helping you allocate resources to see those goals through.
To help you prepare for your first meetings with your attorney, Orange County local estate planning specialists Burris Law (Burris-Law.Net) created a helpful guide on the kinds of questions you need to be prepared to answer. Here are some of the most common you’ll get in those initial meetings:
What keeps you up at night? Though this might seem like an odd question for an attorney to start with, another way of putting this is, “What do you find yourself thinking or worrying about most often with regard to your property, your family, and your future, as well the future of your loved ones?” What the attorney is trying to find out with this kind of question is your motivation for meeting with an attorney in the first place. By identifying your underlying concerns, the attorney will be better able to bring the right legal tools to bear in addressing those concerns…
Worst-case scenario questions. Another question your attorney may ask might go something like this: “Imagine yourself on an island with your spouse, your kids, your grandkids, and even great-grandkids for a huge family reunion. Then imagine that a meteor came out of the sky and hit the island directly, killing everyone.”
Why on earth would an attorney paint such a grim picture? This is actually an important question to help you identify where you would want your money to go if you were to pass away and had no remaining natural heirs to inherit your money.
Death and remarriage questions. A common line of questioning often includes the following type of scenario: “Imagine that you or your spouse were to pass away, and six months later, the survivor of you meets an old high school sweetheart who is single. A romance blooms, and they decide to marry soon after. How comfortable are you with the possibility of all of the money and property you acquired during your marriage becoming jointly owned by your surviving spouse and their new flame? Do you have any concerns about your spouse later dying and leaving everything to the high school sweetheart either intentionally or inadvertently?”
Decisions about minor children. Another extremely important issue an attorney will raise is who should care for your minor children if you no longer can. Related to this question, the attorney will want you to consider who should manage your property and accounts for the benefit of your minor children in the event of your death or disability.
Healthcare decisions. Your estate planning attorney may also ask who should make healthcare decisions for you if you no longer can. This will require you to imagine yourself in a situation where you are receiving healthcare services but are no longer able to communicate your wishes regarding your care. In that case, do you want your spouse making those decisions? Or if you are not married, should it be a family member or a close friend?
These are not pleasant questions to consider, on the whole – after all, who wants to think about what would happen if their children got divorced or what would happen in the event of their spouse suddenly dying? Unfortunately, these events do happen and in many cases, it’s much more common than you might think.
If you are located in the Orange County area and are in need of estate planning legal services, you should go straight to the source of the above knowledge and get in contact with Burris Law. With decades of combined experience, the legal team at Burris has helped a huge variety of clients create and implement an effective estate plan. From the highest income strata to lower-income families, Burris can help create a plan to protect your family’s integrity after you are no longer able to.
Contact Burris today:
488 S Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866