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Uncomfortable Estate Planning Questions You Need to Ask

  • By: Christopher Benson
  • Published: December 30, 2013

Some questions that your estate planning attorney needs to know are obvious: assets, property, who gets what.

But some questions may be less obvious, even bordering on intrusive, if you don’t understand why they are being asked or what implication they can have on your plans for your estate.

  • Have you had any serious or chronic health issues? These questions can help shape your estate planning by helping your advisor plan more accurately. Your estate will have different needs if you have urgent health concerns than if you are in excellent health.
  • When do you want the plug pulled? When you get ready to plan your estate, it’s the time to think about advance health directives, assigning a health care proxy and what quality of life really means to you, and under what circumstances it would be diminished in your case.
  • What if you all die in a common disaster? This helps plan for contingencies that may reach your beneficiaries, too. It may be of greater concern if your beneficiaries live in close proximity to you, or you vacation together frequently.
  • Have you ever signed a prenup, postnup, or community property agreement? These agreements from past relationships may not affect you now, but they could derail estate plans if they aren’t planned and accounted for in advance.
  • What are your passwords, user names and security questions? Some professionals, such as photographers, journalists, authors and others may have their life’s works stored online. Other accounts, such as online banking or credit accounts, will need to be accessed if you have gone paperless.

Over the past 27 years, the Law Offices of Christopher A. Benson has helped more than 800 clients prepare and utilize simple and effective planning techniques to protect them and their families in order to avoid probate, save estate taxes, save money and save added emotional burden that comes from long term illness and/or death of a family member. Give us a call to schedule a free consultation to find out how we can help you and your family.

Christopher Benson

About the Author Chris served on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity
Seattle/S. King County for 10 years and served as Vice President
of the organization during part of that time. Read More