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6 Tips for Your Legacy

For most people, writing (or equally important, updating) a will tends to sit at the top of the “not now, thanks” list, along with dental appointments and colonoscopies. (Sorry, doctors.)

A discussion about the things you will leave behind when you die will certainly carry an emotional charge. There isn’t much to be done about that.

We offer the following advice for this tough subject:

  1. End the procrastination. A will, powers of attorney and health care directives are all essential for almost anyone.
  2. Prepare your estate planning documents with optimism about the future. We suggest you act as if you are “already rich,” since your emotional resistance to revisiting your plans may be just as high as the first time around.
  3. If you have children, at the very least you need to name guardians. You should also consider establishing a trust to protect your children from others and from themselves. Trusts are not only for the very wealthy.
  4. No matter how simple or extensive your planning needs are, work with an attorney who specializes in estate planning and estate law. This subset of the legal profession exists because the process is complex. There is a lot to know and many things that can go wrong.
  5. Any estate planning documents you do have are only as good their alignment with your current circumstances and wishes. They must be updated in a timely manner in response to life changes, including, but not limited to: marriage or divorce, new child, death of those named, change in state laws, or simply the passage of time.
  6. Talk to us. We can review your options, and help you connect with an attorney. It’s often the first step that is the hardest. We’re happy to get the conversation started.

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