Estate planning is often difficult for people who don’t like to think about their potential to become unable to make decisions about their finances or what will happen to their assets and their dependents once they are no longer here to make important decisions. The reality is that planning your estate is a necessity because one day you won’t be here and this is the only way to ensure your wishes are implemented. In order to effectively plan for that day, an estate planning attorney has to ask you some tough questions. You should be prepared to answer them when you see the attorney so that all the necessary details will be taken care of according to your desires.
1. If you have dependents, who will be responsible for them in the event of both parents’ death? The difficulty of deciding who to leave in charge of raising your most prized possession is often the reason that people put off estate planning until after their children are grown. If you don’t step up to the plate and make arrangements for guardianship, the decision will be left in the hands of the court.
2. Where do you want your assets to go if you die together? It may be rare, but there are accidents that take the lives of both spouses or even entire families. It isn’t pleasant to think about but it is important to give an answer to the estate planning attorney to include in your estate plan. You can also find helpful resources on the following Phoenix based website – Estate Planning Attorney Phoenix.
3. Are there any descendants that the family isn’t aware of? Even though there may be a child out there that you haven’t told anyone about, this could lead to a problematic and uncomfortable situation after you are gone. Even if you have to call the attorney privately the next day, revealing any unknown descendants now will save a lot of heartache and money later on.
4. Do you have any secret relationships in your life? Some people have affairs. Others have long-term relationships that may give the other person legal rights to their assets. Make sure you confide all of your relationships to your estate planning attorney regardless of whether you are single or married.
5. Are there any frozen eggs, sperm or embryos anywhere that contain your DNA? In the past, the children that had already been born were the only ones of concern when estate planning. Today, there is the potential for future generations to be born without your ever having known during your lifetime.
6. Have you given any valuable gifts to anyone? Although giving money to family members to help them out might seem like a personal matter to you, gifts of more than $13,000 need to be reported as such on your federal taxes.
7. Have you or are you undergoing a gender transition? Don’t risk confusion on legal documents because of a gender change. Changes on official documents may be required.
While meeting with an estate planning attorney can go well beyond comfortable, it is essential to reveal all of the information requested and anything that you feel might impact having your wishes carried out after you die. Your attorney is an expert in the laws that apply to estate planning. Let him provide you with the services you are paying for.