Estate planning means putting your affairs in order so that you and your loved ones are taken care of, your obligations discharged, and your assets distributed and used in ways of which you approve.
Decisions, not documents
While there are countless lists of essential estate planning documents to be found on the internet, what we see each of our Geyer Law clients is weighing estate planning decisions on an ‘importance scale”.
- A husband and wife might each need to decide how important it is to protect their assets in case one dies and the other remarries?
- Parents might need to decide how important it is to protect their legacy from their children’s creditors?
- Farmland owners need to decide how important it is for that land to remain in the family?
- For those who have the means to give back to the community, how important is it to place restrictions on ways the money will be used?
- Business owners need to decide whether to – and how to – equalize the inheritance of children working in the business and those who are not.
- Pet owners need to weigh the importance of having pets who survive them taken care of.
- For those responsible for family members with special needs, importance must be placed on securing continuing support systems,
- Each of us has things for which they would most like to be remembered. How can a person make sure those topics are given “importance” in an obituary and/or in a funeral or celebration of life?
Yes, estate planning involves mapping out how property will be divided at the time of your death. But, as one Ameriprise article so aptly points out, “Your life and your dreams transcend money – they also encompass your values.”
With that truth in mind, our estate planning attorneys at Geyer Law focus on discussions before documents, helping each client weigh decisions on their very own importance scale.
– By Rebecca W. Geyer