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No Will? Here’s the Way!

Do you really have no will? It’s understood that everyone needs an estate plan; in fact, it’s so important that if you don’t create one the government will! Don’t be one of those people who procrastinate;  it won’t result in a happy memory!

no will in VACelebrities aren’t the only ones who fail to plan for their passing and leave no will.  The difference is, their failures can become instructive for the general public. If we don’t have a will, only our family will know how much time, expense and stress occur because of a failure to plan.

Merrill Lynch and the consulting firm Age Wave found in their recent survey that about 50% of study participants age 50 and older had no will.

Many people don’t care to talk with close family members about important financial topics, like their level of financial security, plans for living arrangements in retirement, inheritance or long-term care.

The Merrill Lynch/Age Wave report, “Family & Retirement: The Elephant in the Room,” explains that some of this is due to time constraints and that people say they’ll do it eventually.

However, it’s easy to get started. You can draft an ethical will, also known as a values statement or letter. Do this in the next few weeks or month. The thought is to capture for your immediate family, as well as your grandchildren and great-grandchildren, what you want them to know about your values, what mattered to you in life, what traditions you hold dear and how you’d like the world to become a better place.

Creating an ethical will begins with a family conversation. Once you begin recording your values and discussing them with your family, it’s a short hop to discussions about your estate plan. Leaving no will does not protect your family the way you’d really like to.

A great benefit of starting the dialog with an ethical will is that there’s less pressure on the family and more time to become comfortable with the topic.

These discussions will lead you to finally meet with an estate planning attorney to help you write your estate plan.

However, don’t stop with a will. You also need a power of attorney and a medical power of attorney, so that a trusted family member or friend can make decisions on your behalf if you should become incapacitated.

It may be easier if you start with a discussion about values and your legacy. However, make sure to take the process to completion, so that your family is protected. You will have done the right thing.

ReferenceMinneapolis Star Tribune (September 8, 2018) “How to get started on making a will”

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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.