The decisions made when creating an estate plan are highly personal decisions. Understandably, it may be uncomfortable to discuss these decisions with a stranger which is why it is important to develop a lifelong relationship with your estate planning attorney. You will, however, need to share things with your estate planning attorney that you may prefer not to share. Failing to be open and honest with your attorney, however, could jeopardize the success of your overall estate plan. To help ensure that your estate plan is a success, an estate planning attorney at Augulis Law Firm points out several important subjects that you should discuss with your estate planning attorney.
- Your complete asset picture. You may be hesitant to discuss your finances and the details of your estate assets with other people. As a rule, there is no reason why you would need to discuss your assets, much less the value of those assets, with other people; however, your estate planning attorney needs to know what you own and what those assets are worth as well as what you owe and to whom. To protect your assets, both now and in the future, your attorney needs to know exactly what assets you have and what they are worth. We all get in the habit of doing things such as trying to undervalue assets for tax purposes or hide assets from ex-spouses that we sometimes must adjust our mindset when it comes to estate planning. Remember, your attorney is on your side.
- All your potential heirs. For many people this is simple. You may even wonder why this is included on the list. For some people, however, it can be critical to protecting their estate. Your estate planning attorney needs to know about all your children and grandchildren because any child or grandchild could inherit from your estate. Even if you have not spoken to a child in many years, you still need to include that child in your estate plan, if for no other reason than to specifically disinherit that child. Likewise, if you adopted a child, or gave a child up for adoption, your attorney needs to know so the child can be addressed in your plan if necessary.
- Information about your health. Knowing where your health stands is crucial to creating a successful estate plan because specific steps need to be taken immediately if your health is questionable. If you are concerned about your health or have been diagnosed with any health issues, your estate planning attorney needs to know.
- Information about anyone who is likely to contest your Will. That child that you have been estranged from for years may be a problem during the probate of your estate. As such, your attorney needs to know about that relationship in the event he/she decides to contest your Will. Any other heir or beneficiary that you feel might be unhappy with the terms of your Will should be mentioned as well.
- Your beliefs/wishes regarding end-of-life care and funeral/burial services. Faith can play an important role in an estate plan. Advanced directives and funeral planning are two areas where your faith and religious beliefs become particularly important. If those beliefs cause you to have specific ideas about the care you receive (or would prefer not to receive) in the event you are suffering from a terminal illness or condition, you can ensure that your beliefs and wishes are honored through careful estate planning.
Contact an Estate Planning Attorney
For more information, please download our FREE estate planning worksheet. If you have additional questions or concerns about estate planning, contact an experienced estate planning attorney at Augulis Law Firm by calling 908-222-8803 to schedule your appointment today.
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