Save Your Results … Now, Virginia!

Estate planningIn life as in computing, a little planning now prevents a lot of pain down the road. Goodbyes are never easy, particularly if the relationship was a cherished one. Such was the case for me and my beloved hard drive. Its capacity for capturing great conversations, thoughts, and images felt irreplaceable. My heart sank as the computer technician conducted its last rites. But thanks to technological advances, a mirror image of my hard drive’s legacy resided only a download away. The online backup reduced my anxiety and helped me resume my daily activities. Preparing for the inevitable allowed me and my hard drive to appreciate our time together and live life with no residual regrets.

A recent Time article, titled "How Writing a Will Is Like Backing Up Your Hard Drive," asks why most of us do not devote the same energy to our estate planning as we do to our PCs. To make sure our computers work effectively, we conduct updates, check for viruses, and clean up unwanted material. Being unorganized only leads to trouble and added expense. Making our loved ones deal with unorganized financial affairs and estates only creates more stress and adds to the grief.

In one way, if you do not back up your PC's hard drive or do not have an estate plan, you are not alone. However, that really is not good news. Just because a lot of people flunk the final exam does not make the conversation with your parents any easier. So too, in estate planning—being unorganized only makes more work for your family and your estate planning attorney. On top of that there will be more expenses involved.

As noted in the original article, a 2012 survey found that 41% of Baby Boomers and 71% of people age 34 and younger do not have wills. That is truly a failing grade.

Taking the steps necessary to get your estate plan organized is well worth the effort, both to you now and to your loved ones after you pass away. Working with your estate planning attorney to draft your will requires you to designate responsible and trust-worthy people who are able to settle your estate (executors), care for your minor children (guardians), and manage any of the trusts (trustees) you start for the benefit of others. While you are at it, make sure you have an up-to-date list of your financial assets and liabilities. Nowadays, this also includes your online accounts and passwords. Your estate plan should also have a durable power of attorney, durable power of attorney for health care, and a living will.  So start today: Back-up the PC hard drive, check for viruses, and call your estate planning attorney to get organized!

You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: estate planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.

Reference: Time (August 18, 2014) "How Writing a Will Is Like Backing Up Your Hard Drive"


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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.