As an estate planning attorney, I know that one of the best gifts we can give to those we leave behind is to attempt to alleviate the unanswered questions. It is an additional tribute of thoughtfulness when family prepares ahead. Working with an attorney to prepare your wills and trusts is a way to think of the future and of the ones you cherish.
When a person dies, the grief can be overwhelming and often unbearable to the family left behind, especially when the death is unexpected. The unanswered questions and not knowing what a loved one would have wanted can make the emotional pain even worse. As someone who sits on the other side, watching families either try to put the puzzle together or read very clear instructions, I see the direct benefit of preparing ahead. When wishes are made clear, thoughts are known, and there is a plan in place, it can make it easier for everyone else to move on and move forward with their life. Otherwise, families can end up scrambling to try and gather documents and figure out ways to resolve an estate.
Working with an estate planning attorney to prepare your wills and trusts can:
Reduce the stress your family will feel.
Prevent the court from designating someone to manage and distribute your estate.
Ensure that your wishes are followed.
Prevent unnecessary fights or disputes between your children as to who gets what asset or piece of property.
Give you peace of mind knowing that you planned ahead and that your wishes will be followed.
Take the Time While You Can
Unfortunately, there is no way to predict the future or to know when you will die. No one likes to think about this, but it is a reality of life that cannot be escaped. Yes, life is demanding and can be incredibly busy. With the demands of work, children, community, family, etc., it can seem unimportant to add estate planning to your schedule. However, what you need to consider is what will happen if you fail to do so. What would happen if you suddenly died in a car crash, suffered a stroke, or had an accident at work? Would your family know how you want to be buried? Would they know what type of ceremony you wanted? These instructions could help bring them some measure of peace. Would your young children be taken care of? How would your savings and investments be distributed amongst your family? While something else can always take precedent over estate planning, these are the questions that will remain unanswered unless you take the time to do so now.
Having the appropriate documents gives clear instructions and helps those cope better with any loss. I encourage you to establish your wills and trusts now as a way to think of the future and the ones you love. As an estate planning attorney, I can help you do so.