Address the Hard Questions Now

My primary task as an Estate Planning attorney is providing guidance for the possibly difficult times ahead: creating the vehicle you will use to communicate your wishes about health care, a funeral, your finances, as well what to do with the family home.

What if you knew that there was no tomorrow?  How difficult is it to plan ahead when your death is imminent and you know that the future will not include you? 

In my experience, the answer to this question is illuminating:  the older my clients get, the more involved they become in the process of estate planning.  On the other hand, the younger the client or the more unexpected their terminal illness is, the harder it is for them to contemplate the road ahead.  The solution is that there is no time like the present to address the hard questions involved in planning your estate.  Don't wait until it too late to provide the answers.   

This week, I was faced with the unfortunate task of reviewing a Will that had been drafting virtually days before a young man’s death, using a form off the internet.  I was shocked by a document which literally strung together unrelated words and phrases thereby failing to accomplish some of the testator’s intentions.  To add insult to injury, the internet provider had failed to mention that the document needed to be properly witnessed and notarized.  This Will likely wouldn’t be admitted to probate.  The Executor explained that the time between diagnosis and death simply did not give this man the time he needed to accept his future.  For him, estate planning at this critical time meant that he was giving up on his fight to live. 

Despite our natural reluctance to talk about these matters, now is simply the best time to actually lay out your plans and discuss them with your family. Open communication and your personal guidance can often avoid future family squabbles.

You can learn more about estate planning and elder law issues on our website. Be sure to sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter to stay abreast of issues like these that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.

Reference: The Wall Street Journal (August 11, 2012) “Speak for Yourself, While You Can

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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.