What to Do When Death Comes at Home

When Death Comes at Home

Even when you know the end is near, the loss of someone you love can cause panic, grief and confusion. Not knowing what to do next can cause additional distress. Clients have asked for information on what to do when death comes to a loved one receiving care at home. This posting is a response to that request.

The circumstances determine whether anything must be done immediately. The information below does not cover every situation, but provides some general guidance.  [Read more…]

DIY Estate Planning? Buyer Beware!

Low Cost Wills – Are they worth it?

There are many options available to create a do-it-yourself Will for little or no cost.  These forms are popular because they’re cheap.  In some cases, by saving money now, you are setting up your survivors to pay thousands in legal fees to fix what you created with inappropriate documents.

Free or low cost programs and forms available on the internet cannot perform a detailed legal analysis of a person’s estate planning needs. They also cannot address important planning issues, such as leaving money to a beneficiary who is disabled, in debt, or headed for a divorce.  A good estate planning attorney will discuss the details of a client’s financial situation, their goals and their family relationships.  Estate planning is not a “one size fits all” business.  A well-drafted Will or Trust should be carefully tailored to meet the individual’s unique goals.  [Read more…]

Estate Planning: An Opportunity to be your Best Self

The Lasting Memory of Estate Planning

Every time I turn around there is an estate planning or probate horror-story in the news.  Celebrities and ordinary folk alike have provided plenty of examples of how to leave your estate in a way that causes family conflict and ruptured relationships that can last for generations.  Unfortunately, some people use their final wishes to take revenge, show favoritism, or otherwise damage relationships between their surviving family members.

As an antidote to this type of planning, I would like to remind readers that estate planning gives you another chance to be the parent, spouse, friend and citizen that you have always wanted to be.  By this I mean that estate planning is a final opportunity to provide for future financial support and security for your spouse and loved ones.  You can mend fences, express your love, show generosity, forgiveness, gratitude.  [Read more…]