Now that we’re past Halloween, we are head-long into the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner, and soon, you’ll be surrounded by friends and family. Believe it or not, those are perfect times to talk to your loved ones about estate planning. After all, it beats talking about politics or the pandemic, doesn’t it?
The holidays are a perfect time, while family and friends are gathered together (safely distanced, of course), to discuss whether estate planning and related legal matters are in order. It is a difficult subject to approach, but it is much better to be brave and tackle the subject than to avoid the discussion and regret later that plans which should have been made were not and you're left with a mess to deal with.
Sit down with your parents or even your children who have children of their own and talk to them about the hard issues. Some things you might ask them include:
- “Do you have a power of attorney to take care of matters if you are ever in a situation where you can’t take care of them yourself?”
- “If something happens to you, do you have a Will or a trust to take care of your estate?”
- “Do you have a medical power of attorney that specifies who can make medical decisions for you if you aren’t able to?”
- And, “Do you have a directive to physicians or living Will that specifies whether you do or don’t want to be kept alive by artificial means if a terminal or irreversible condition arises?”
Again, it’s not a bright and cheery topic, generally, but I have clients come to me every day saying they really wish the last time they were together with their loved ones, they would have sat down and talked about these things. It would have saved a whole lot of heartache, trouble, and expense if they would have just done it.
So be brave, bite the bullet, and just do it!
*(The free consultation does not cover actual review of documents or giving legal advice on a specific situation.)