Questions to Ask Your Estate Attorney

Many people neglect to adequately plan their estates because they have a difficult time facing the reality that life will end some day. While it's understandable to want to avoid this unpleasantness, if you have significant assets or minor children whose welfare needs to be guaranteed, it's vitally important that you shoulder that responsibility and face the challenge head on.

Below, you'll find a guide to some questions you should be sure to ask your attorney during the estate planning process. Following these suggestions can help guarantee that you provide your family with the peace of mind and stability they desire, while simultaneously ensuring that your final wishes will be carried out exactly as you direct them to be.

Ask about Establishing a Trust

One of the most difficult challenges for people with significant assets is finding a way to guarantee that those assets aren't tied up in probate court for an extended period if the wishes of your estate are contested. In order to avoid that difficulty, setting up a trust with a named beneficiary can help expedite the process.

Many people hesitate to establish a trust out of concern that it will limit their own access to their finances while they remain alive. This fear, however, comes from an inaccurate understanding of the trust process. As the founder of a trust, you should still maintain unfettered access to those funds for as long as you desire.

Ask about a Medical Representative

The development of modern medicine has added new wrinkles to the estate planning process that you need to be prepared to handle. If you approach the end of your life in an incapacitated state, it's essential that you designate a person who will be responsible for making difficult medical decisions.

By naming a person with durable power of attorney and a health care proxy, you can make a clear declaration of your wishes that should go unchallenged. This is a great way to guarantee that you meet the end of your life with the dignity that you desire.

Ask about an Update Schedule

Many people who do perform a degree of estate planning make the mistake of assuming that they can leave their plans be once they're established. Instead, it's important to review those plans on a regular schedule in order to guarantee that new situations haven't cropped up that you may not realize directly affect your plans. Scheduling these regular reviews can also help avoid challenges to your planning, as they demonstrate an ongoing and active consent to those plans.