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The Importance of Estate Planning


Estate planning by the decision makerThe easiest way to see if your parents have a solid estate plan is to ask, “Hey Mom, do you and Dad have a will and a trust?”

Some parents will engage their kids in disability and estate planning, with some viewing it a way to share the work and bring on a younger mind to help navigate the complexities of estate planning. Obviously, not all parents will be agreeable to this. Some are insecure about their lack of knowledge, and there can be fear of the cost or undue influence. In some instances, parents just don’t want to come to terms with their mortality. Whatever it is, if a parent delays or doesn’t make an estate plan, the children will potentially have stress and conflict—and have to clean up the mess.

Probate is a tiresome, slow moving and bureaucratic headache. There are delays and hard feelings. Probate can also wind up with the wrong people inheriting wealth and family treasures. If you’re not certain if your parents have a proper estate plan designed by a knowledgeable attorney, there are several ways to approach this before a crisis.

A solid estate plan includes more than just a will or trust; make sure your parents have disability planning and other medical documents in place as well. If a subtle approach is required, you can try asking for advice from your parents. Tell them you’re trying to get your personal affairs in order and need their help. You can ask them what estate planning they’ve done and what attorney they used. This may get them to open up about their situation, in order to help you with yours.

Another way to ease into this conversation is with an anecdote. You may know a person who had an easier time with proper planning, or maybe you know someone whose life was troubled by avoiding it. If your parents simply don’t want to talk about this type of planning, you may seek the help of another sibling. They may respond better to your brother or sister. You can also ask a relative or a trusted friend to broach the subject.

A final option might be to offer to pay for the creation of their estate plan. Tell them that by doing your estate planning, you’ve learned what issues there can be settling an estate that wasn’t in proper order and that you would be willing to pay for them to work with an experienced estate planning attorney. The idea of paying for someone else’s estate plan may not be that appealing, but it will save you time, stress and money in the long run.  We can help you design an estate plan that is right for you.  We have two easy ways to schedule your complimentary consultation: call us today at 757.259.0707 or “request a consultation” online.

Reference: Napa Valley Register (March 26, 2017) “Estate planning for your parents”

 

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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.