Let’s face it! There are some things in life that we just don’t want to think about or do; I run across it a lot as an estate lawyer. In order to avoid dealing with those unpleasant things, we have a tendency to procrastinate. After all, why do today what we can put off until tomorrow?
It’s estimated that one-third of the individual tax returns prepared in the United States aren’t filed until the final two weeks before the tax filing deadline. Preparing and filing our taxes is one of those unpleasant things we don’t like to do. This is true whether we prepare those returns on our own or have our accountants prepare them for us. That is unless, of course, you’re due a refund. But even then there are still a lot of people who procrastinate.
In addition to taxes, I believe it’s safe to say that no one likes to think about their own mortality. Unfortunately, not thinking about our mortality doesn’t mean the inevitable won’t happen. As author Markus Zusak said in his novel, The Book Thief, “a small fact: you are going to die…does this worry you?” It should since none of us know how much time we are allotted to walk on this earth.
One of our responsibilities as adults is to provide and care for our loved ones. It’s also our responsibility to make sure we have a plan in place regarding what it is we want to do with our assets when the inevitable finally happens. Hopefully, it won’t happen for many years from now. But one never knows. As is true with filing our taxes, getting tall he documents and information together in anticipation of preparing an estate plan isn’t a pleasant task. To ensure that the correct estate plan is prepared for your situation, you should schedule an appointment with a lawyer who specializes in estate planning. At the Law Offices of Gary I. Handin, we’ve been practicing estate planning for more than 40 years.
Before showing up for your appointment you should come prepared so that you can get all of your questions answered. But what are the questions you should be asking your estate lawyer during your initial estate planning interview?
The Questions You Should Be Asking Your Estate Lawyer
- Does your law firm offer comprehensive estate planning services?
- What happens if I don’t have an estate plan in place when I die?
- What is a will?
- What is a trust?
- Which of those documents is appropriate for my particular situation?
- Who should I appoint as my personal representative?
- What are the personal representative’s responsibilities?
- What other documents do I need to be prepared as part of my estate plan?
- How often should I review my estate plan?
- What if I need to make changes to my plan?
To assist your estate lawyer in determining the best estate plan based upon your situation, we also recommend that you prepare and bring with you a list of important information. That list should include your marital status, the names of your children and their ages, whether any of those children have special needs, as well as a list of both your shared and individual assets. Those assets include, but are not limited to bank accounts, life insurance, investment accounts, real estate property, and any other assets owned individually or jointly by you.
Estate Planning In South Florida
As an estate lawyer who has been practicing in Dade, Broward, and West Palm Beach Counties for over 40 years, I’m here for you to address your estate planning needs. Contact us at 954-796-9600 (toll-free 877-242-9942) to schedule an appointment to address which estate plan is right based on your situation.