Estate Planning: Be Prepared for These Uncomfortable Questions

Estate planning, as you can imagine, is actually a highly personal process. It is kind of like going to the doctor where you need to be ready to disclose some things that you may not bring up in polite conversation. However, rest assured that there is always a reason for all the uncomfortable questions. By knowing what to expect, you can better prepare. So what are some questions that may come up?

Do You Have Any Health Problems?

It may not seem like any of your lawyer’s business, but primarily what they need to know is whether you have a condition that may cause incapacitation in the future, or if you are suffering from some health issue that may result in your death on an accelerated timeline. If you have a disease that could deteriorate your body and mind rapidly, it needs to be planned for.

Is Your Marriage Stable?

Marriages have good years and they have bad years, but is it, for the most part, stable? If there is the possibility of a marriage ending, you may not want your ex-spouse getting everything, and this issue may affect the decisions that you would make in your estate planning.

Do You Have Children Out of Wedlock?

This can be an extremely sensitive subject, but if you have a child that was the product of a different relationship than your current marriage, then they are still considered a legal heir to your estate. Your lawyer will need to consider the best way to advise you on addressing the inheritance issues related to this other child.  Failing to do so could result in your estate plan causing litigation when you are gone.

Do Your Beneficiaries Have Drug, Alcohol, or Gambling Problems?

No one wants to air the dirty laundry of their family, but this does need to be acknowledged. No parent wants their children to squander their inheritance away on habits that will hurt them. By letting your lawyer know, they can set up stipulations that will prevent the child from being able to spend all their inheritance right away or only receive it once certain criteria have been met.

While every client’s situation is unique, there may be additional uncomfortable questions that your lawyer may need to ask. However, if you are beginning the estate planning process, contact us today.  We are happy to explain to you why any of our questions are important, and we will seek to guide you making sound decisions in your estate planning.