Estate planning is a partnership between you and your counsel. The decision to hire a lawyer to craft an estate plan is an important one, and it is helpful for you to think about why you are looking to create that estate plan. Are their life changes coming and you want to make sure you have things squared away in advance of those changes? Are you a planner and an estate plan is on your list of things to get done in the New Year? Have you experienced the hardship of trying to work through family and inheritance situations where the planning was not ideal? The reasons that you are seeking counsel to prepare an estate plan often influence what you are thinking about in terms of making that plan. For example, perhaps you’ve experienced a difficult situation where there was no planning done, or the planning that was done seems unfair or completely contrary to the wishes they expressed during their lifetimes. Or, perhaps you’ve had to help someone who did not have a durable power of attorney in place such that someone could make decisions for them when they were incapacitated. Maybe you’re simply a planner and this is on your list of things to do this year. Regardless of why you are creating that partnership with your attorney, you want to feel heard and valued in that process so that your goals are met.
What You Can Accomplish
Answering the question about what is motivating you to create an estate plan is a helpful exercise. Your attorney should listen and help you feel heard as part of that beginning of that estate planning process. Your motives and priorities understood, it is now up to your attorney to guide you through the creation of that plan. That partnership between you and your counsel is designed to both understand your priorities, and then help you think about other “what ifs” that might impact your decisionmaking. Then, with that foundation firmly in place, you can begin to understand the options you have in creating your estate plan. That plan may include durable powers of attorney, a will, a revocable trust, or more complex planning tools depending on the needs of your individual situation. Ultimately, counsel’s job is to help you think beyond your current situation, and bring their own insight, experience, and knowledge to bear in creating the best plan for you.
What You Can Avoid
The consequences of not planning can be significant. Our purpose today is not to highlight the difficulties that so many face when loved ones pass away without a formal or comprehensive estate plan. Rather, we simply want to encourage you, no matter your circumstance or whether you think you need an estate plan, to find a good attorney and partner to put a plan in place long before you may actually need it.
Begin Your Estate Planning Alongside Beckemeier LeMoine Law
The attorneys of Beckemeier LeMoine Law believe that estate planning begins with a conversation about what you want to achieve. We have extensive experience with a wide range of estate planning tools to protect your and your assets regardless of your circumstances or needs. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, which is why our process begins by learning about you. To get started, contact our offices today to schedule your consultation.