The Importance of Estate Planning
Estate planning can be a complex subject to broach. Many people find it natural to want to avoid having discussions about life after they pass away, but it is crucial to create an estate plan as soon as possible.
An estate plan establishes the recipients of wealth and assets after a person dies and the legal procedures for distributing those possessions. Without an estate plan, it falls to the government to decide how a person’s assets are divided, often with little to no input from the family.
So while it might be difficult, it is vital to speak to aging or sick relatives about estate planning early to ensure that you complete the process and get everyone on the same page.
Important Legal Documents
Estate planning can be a more straightforward process than many people anticipate, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it does not involve a fair deal of paperwork.
A probate attorney will ask your relatives to establish a few legal documents to ensure that their wishes for asset allocation are official. That way, there can be no debate or misinterpretation on what they want their family and attorney to do with their possessions.
A will is a legal document where a person officially decides on asset distribution. Here, the testator will dictate to their attorney which of their belongings they want to distribute after they pass away and which parties will receive those belongings.
A person’s will proves they had a plan for asset allocation and will prevent the government from distributing possessions and minimize fighting over belongings from relatives.
If the will represents a document that decides where a person will allocate their assets, a trust acts as the document that finalizes those decisions and determines precisely how quickly the party can claim them.
Power of Attorney
As a legal document, a power of attorney allows a person to appoint someone else to oversee their assets. For example, if a person were to pass away or become incapacitated, they could let a second party distribute their finances and belongings with a power of attorney.
Speaking With Loved Ones
After you speak to relatives about estate planning, you must also talk with other loved ones to make sure they become part of the planning process.
As is the case with speaking to your relatives directly, speaking with their loved ones about estate planning can be a challenging topic to bring up. Death is an impactful thing, and many people choose to ignore it. However, involving the family in the planning process can ensure that everyone is satisfied and understands why the planner made their decisions.
Find an Estate Planning Attorney
After you’ve spoken to your relatives and loved ones about your desire to form an estate plan, the next step includes checking whether or not they have found an estate planning attorney.
It’s natural to struggle with the estate planning process without having professional help, but an attorney can streamline the entire operation. They will help your relatives make decisions they can feel comfortable with and create legally binding documents that will ensure proper asset allocation.
If your relatives have not found an estate planning attorney in their area that they feel comfortable with, you can help them find one.
Encourage Them and Be Supportive
Even after your relatives have agreed to create an estate plan, they still might feel uncomfortable during the process.
If you sense any apprehension on their end, you can help satisfy their concerns by reminding them of why estate planning is important in the first place.
The planning process can signify to loved ones that the planners care about their family’s best interest. So while it might be challenging to confront estate planning, it can also be a labor of love.
Estate Planning Attorney Ann Arbor | The TGQ Law Firm
For an Ann Arbor estate planning attorney that will approach each client with sensitivity and care, look no further than the team at The TGQ Law Firm. Estate planning can be a confusing process, but our team of experts in Michigan will be there to guide you through it.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to be legal advice. Everyone’s situation is different and legal advice is only properly given after having reviewed your specific situation.