As a recent Forbes article illustrates, the reason many people don’t have any estate plan is not that they don’t realize they should or are too lazy to do it, but rather because thinking about estate planning requires us to confront some difficult questions. These questions involve issues about illness, mortality, and even personal regrets, and as such can be very difficult to face. Thinking about these questions early and knowing you will have to answer them at some point can greatly ease your mind as you begin estate planning.
Question 1. When should your family let you go?
If you should develop a serious illness or injury, one which your doctors do not believe you will recover from, you will need an estate plan that spells out your wishes. Even if your family is eager to maintain your health regardless of the expense, you may want a different option. Deciding what you want and speaking to your family about it is often a very difficult process, but also one that can be rewarding and lead to closer family relationships.
Question 2. Are you hiding anything from your spouse?
Some couples are very open in their communications, while for others that process is more difficult. Some spouses may even keep closely guarded secrets from one another, even for their entire lifetimes. If you’ve had previous relationships, estranged family members, or even children from past marriages, all of these issues will need to be addressed when you speak to your estate planning attorney. Even if you choose not to reveal them to your spouse, your attorney needs to know about them so your estate plan can be complete.
Byrd : Garrett, PLLC is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.