Someone close to you died. You’re nicely dressed and at the funeral home. All the talk is about condolences, sympathy and shared memories. It’s not that you aren’t engaged—not that you aren’t sincerely saddened by the loss — but also in your mind are questions about who is going to inherit what, and more specifically, whether you are going to get anything. Your first instinct is correct: Now is not the time. But don’t feel guilty, and don’t for one minute believe that you are the only one in the room who is thinking these thoughts. Far from it. As uncomfortable as they may feel, these thoughts are perfectly natural. So to help alleviate some of your immediate concerns, following are generalized answers to some of the questions that are likely circling in your head: Is there a will?
Unless your estate planning documents provide direction as to how to strike the balance between protecting assets and paying for higher quality of care, decisions will be made by family members who may have their own ideas, and their own interest in your estate.
When asked about an estate plan, clients often say: “We’re all set, we have a living trust.” And that’s good. Often having a living trust (a.k.a. revocable trust) suggests that (more…)