When we first meet with clients to discuss their estate planning strategy, many are noticeably floored by the number of questions we ask and how detailed those queries become as we try to get to know them and their family.
In our world, this discovery process comes with the territory, and we take it seriously. That is because while choosing between Wills and Trusts is essential, it is only one step in the process. Whichever instrument you choose needs to be carefully customized to your situation so assets are protected and your wishes can be carried out once you are gone.
At Leigh Hilton PLLC in Denton, TX, we believe in asking the right questions now to protect your loved ones later. We help individuals and families create a unique plan to efficiently pass their wealth, wisdom, and values to their loved ones.
Below is a brief breakdown of a few of the questions we ask and why:
These are not idle questions
In Who Gets Your Stuff When You Die: 14 Secrets For Protecting Everyone You Love And Everything You Own, I explain that it is critical your estate planning attorney know anything and everything about you and your family. That is why we ask so many questions. It is not meant to be an interrogation, though each one has a purpose, as I am looking for issues that need to be addressed in the Will or Trust.
For example, I want to know:
- Each child, each grandchild, any other beneficiaries, and spouses?
- How many are there?
- How old are they?
- Where do they live?
- What do they do for a living?
- Are they good at handling money and other responsibilities?
- Will they be responsible if they inherit a large sum of money?
- Does anyone in the family have a disability?
As you can see, these are not idle questions – and that is only the beginning. While we cannot possibly cover every question we ask in this one blog post, it is equally important to customize the estate plan to particular assets, too. For example, what about any out-of-state property you may own? Also, do you have a family business? If so, who owns it and what is the current business structure? Your estate plan needs to spell out what will happen to that company, such as:
- Will the company be sold and the proceeds divided?
- How will the money be distributed?
- Who will take care of all the important business related to the sale, including what price to ask and ultimately accept?
- If more than one heir will own the business, how will ownership rights and privileges be spelled out?
Bottom line, your unique circumstances and concerns should be considered and explored from every angle possible during the estate planning process, and you should discuss both aspects openly with your estate planner.
Call Leigh Hilton PLLC today
While we cannot control everything, asking the right questions now ensures that all your affairs and family will be taken care of in the very best ways possible. Call Leigh Hilton PLLC in Denton. By working with us, you can be confident that your estate plan will be current, take advantage of the latest planning opportunities, and address your goals using an approach that makes sense to you and a strategy that you can be confident in.
Leigh Hilton PLLC wants to be your first call every time for any estate planning need. We look forward to serving you.
Thanks for reading!