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Estate Planning – The Human Factor

Estate planning tends to focus on minimizing taxes, especially for high-net-worth individuals, but personal problems may be more pressing for some clients. For such people, the success of the planning process hinges more on dealing with their issues than with their legal, tax and technical matters.

Of the three essential elements to any estate plan, namely, the legal, the financial, and the human factor, the latter can be the most difficult. This challenge was the subject of a recent article in Financial Planning appropriately titled “The Human Factor.”

Generally speaking, the human factor in any estate plan is the sum total of your personal, interpersonal, and family relationships and problems. Planning for these matters means taking everything you know and everyone you love into consideration. While the details will vary according to your own unique circumstances, the Financial Planning article provides some practical guidance.

For example, have you considered the needs of yourself or your spouse (if married), should old age catch up with you physically or mentally? What about the potential of a likely heir having spendthrift tendencies or a substance addiction? Have you given thought to heirlooms and other items of tangible personal property that could trigger family feuds in the absence of clear inheritance direction?

Is that all? Hardly. It does, however, help to get you (and me) thinking about the “human factor” when it comes to our estate planning.

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: Financial Planning (July 1, 2012) “The Human Factor

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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.
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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.