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Create the Perfect Estate Plan

Successful planningEven if your plans are simple, things can still go wrong.  There’s an old Yiddish proverb:  “Man Plans; God laughs”.

You’ll have a much better chance of your plan succeeding if you talk through the details of your estate plan with heirs and family members so that they know what your intentions are when you pass away and sometimes, what is even more important, they can help fulfill those plans while you are living.

You’d think talking about your intentions ahead of time would be easy enough, but many people choose not to do so—regardless of what happens. Research shows that fewer than 33% of people discuss their estate plans with their children. More than 20% of bequest recipients fight over inheritances. But 63% of families reporting no disputes over inheritance issues tell surveys they’ve had advance notice of what to expect. And more than 80% believe they were treated fairly. Talking about your plans with the people involved can make a huge difference.

If the terms of your will or trust are unique or vary from state intestacy guidelines, speaking to everyone involved is critical. For example, if you plan to leave 80% of your estate to one child instead of splitting it 50-50 between both sons, let them know your rationale for your decision. The more your heirs see your logic, the less apt they’ll be to contest your estate plan. Plus, if there’s a conflict, you’re still around to help work out the issues.

Another way to help reduce conflicts is by adding a “no-contest” clause. This means if an heir contests the will or trust, they get nothing.

Be certain to make things clear during your lifetime—it can be a mistake to assume everyone will graciously accept your intentions and “do the right thing.” Eliminate fighting after you’re gone by speaking openly and honestly with your heirs now.

Reference: Forbes (October 31, 2016) “How to Keep Your Heirs from Fighting Over Your Estate”

 

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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

Coronavirus/Covid-19
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.