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Modern Estate Planning Blog

Elder Law & Special Needs Planning

Talk to Your Kids About What Would Happen If You Were Gone | Fair Oaks Trust Attorney

August 10, 2011

While it can be very difficult to discuss death and what would happen to your kids if you were gone, it would be even harder for your surviving family members to deal with this loss in the absence of guidance and clear directions from you.

That is why the Fair Oaks wills and trusts lawyers at Chubb Law Firm encourage all couples to develop a strong estate plan, regardless of their age. At a bare minimum, make sure that your plan includes a healthcare directive, HIPAA Authorization, financial durable power of attorney and a Last Will and Testament. These documents will let your family members know what your wishes are when it comes to the distribution of your assets, as well as any medical decisions that need to be made in the event that you are unable to make them for yourself.

But another element of a good estate plan is discussion. Talking to your family about what is outlined in your will (or trust) can not only help you develop it, but it can help them avoid additional surprises if you pass away unexpectedly. This is especially true for children. We understand that it can be hard to discuss issues of mortality with your kids, but it’s important to get their input on things such as guardianship and lifestyle choices to ensure you are making the best decisions possible.

If you think that your children are old enough to handle the conversation, here are some questions that you may want to ask:

  • “If something happened to mom and dad, and we weren’t here anymore, who would you want to live with?”
  • “What would you like about living with ________?”
  • “If you had to go live with ___________, would that be OK? Are there any reasons why you would not want to live there?”
  • “If ____________ had to take care of you because something happened to mom and dad, would you want to go live with __________ or have them come live at our house?”
  • “What are your thoughts on having to switch schools/making new friends/change sporting locations if you had to move?”

These discussions may be easier with older children, but there are also ways to discuss estate planning with youngsters without making them fearful that you are going to be gone tomorrow.

Let the Fair Oaks estate planning attorneys at The Chubb Law Firm help you address such sensitive issues. Start by calling our Gold River office at (916) 241-9661 and ask if you qualify for a Peace of Mind Planning Session. These sessions are normally $750, but you can come in free with the mention of this article. Call today!

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I was absolutely without a clue as to how to begin or what I should do to establish an estate plan. I did know that I wanted someone I could trust, that was honest and I would have confidence in. I was referred to Heather by my friend who was being legally advised by Heather on another estate. She was very satisfied with her work and thought I might be happy with her service. At our consultation appointment, her presentation was very thorough. I had lots of questions, and she was easy to talk to and was able to guide me to just the kind of estate plan I needed. That was 10 years ago. Due to circumstances in my life, I have had to make changes to my plan, and I always go back to her for her legal services and guidance. I have recommended Heather before.

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