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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Talking About Death

Sooner or later we all die.   It will happen to me, and as upsetting as it may be to think about, it will happen to you, too.  It’s a fact.   We don’t know when or how death will occur. We hope the end comes peacefully when we are very old, surrounded by those we love, having lived a long and good life.  No one lives forever.  And although death is part of life, most people find the topic very difficult to think about and especially hard to discuss with others.

Talking about what will happen to your family when you pass away can be a very emotional subject.  And as with all emotionally-charged subjects, it is often easier to ignore.  Or think about later.   Is estate planning on your “to do” list?  Perhaps you are  superstitious.  Can just talking about something make it more likely to happen? 

It is common for me to learn that new clients have taken months, often years, from the time they started thinking about estate planning to when they called our office to schedule a consultation.  For many, life provides a burst of motivation encouraging you to take care of matters sooner rather than later.  Perhaps a health scare, or a vacation overseas? It may also be seeing the aftermath of the sudden death of a friend or family member.  Without proper planning, a grieving family is left to clean up the legal and financial mess left behind after the death of a loved one, during a very difficult time.

So how do you prepare to face what may happen to your family after you are gone?  Is it necessary to have a will, a durable power of attorney, or other estate planning documents? The best place to start is by educating yourself as to what estate planning is.  There are many websites devoted to wills, trusts, and other documents that you can explore.  Our website and blog also contain helpful information.  By learning about the subject, it may be easier to discuss your needs.  It won’t make you an expert, but when you consult an attorney you will be better prepared to formulate questions, which leads to the next step.

Contact an estate planning attorney to arrange a consultation.  Most estate planning attorneys do not charge for this initial meeting, and there is no obligation.   Keep in mind that you need to feel comfortable and at ease with the attorney and office staff you select.  Chemistry is important, as are qualifications .  Find someone you trust.  Remember not all attorneys specialize in estate planning.    Ask questions.  Do your research.  Look for competence and shared values.  

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500 Sawgrass Corporate Parkway, Suite 100, Sunrise, FL 33325
| Phone: 954-885-0085

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