This is a great article – and will give you some real ideas to think about in your estate planning.
This is a guest post by Wendy S. Goffe, a trusts and estates lawyer with Stoel Rives in Seattle. You can follow her on Twitter.
For most people, estate planning is more painful than a root canal without Novocain. Among other things, it forces us to acknowledge that we may become demented; decide who gets what after we pass away; and make provisions for end of life care.
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Facing our mortality is one of the hardest things we must do in life—so hard, that I postponed my own estate planning even though I’m a lawyer who does this for a living. My husband and I only signed the necessary documents because it was a requirement for adopting our daughter in 2002. And we did that at the airport on the morning we waited for her to arrive from Korea.
To help implement your wishes, trusts and estate lawyers need to ask very tough questions. Some of them might make you squirm. Thinking about the following issues in advance can help you prepare for a meeting about your estate plan.
1. Who will raise your children if both parents die?
A number of clients have told me that they waited until all of their children were grown to discuss estate planning because they couldn’t figure out whom to name as a guardian. If you fail to name a guardian, then the court will do it for you, based on what it deems to be in the best interest of your child. Unless you have confidence that a judge who never knew you has better judgment than you do about matters involving your children, it is best not to stick your head in the sand for 18 years.