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Having the Difficult, But Necessary Conversations

Posted by Thompson Von Tungeln | Oct 01, 2020 | 0 Comments

With the coming of the Fall season, we are also about to head into a time of year filled with a number of holidays where we might be around and with family. This is always time of year that I advise my clients to consider having some often difficult, but necessary, conversations with their loved ones.

A lot of people do not like talking about things like, "What will happen if something happens to me?" But, if 2020 has taught us anything this year is that the potential of something happening to anyone and their health may come when you least expect it. It's one of the main reasons why we do what we do here at Thompson Von Tungeln and help families put the proper estate plan in place to provide some peace of mind that comes from making sure that you've made a plan for the "what ifs".

Here are just a few of the things that I recommend that people consider around this time of year:

  • Does your spouse, children and/or Successor Trustees know what to do and where to find things if something were to happen to you?
  • Have you discussed your wishes if you were to be rushed to the hospital and require medical care (for example, have you discussed "Do Not Resuscitate" wishes)?
  • If you have a "DNR", have you made it clear exactly what that means?
  • Have you decided what kind of funeral or burial service you would want if you were to pass away?
  • Have you discussed with your children how you have set up your estate plan and what you want to happen so there are no surprises and (hopefully) no breakouts of World War 3?
  • Do you have certain values or legacies that you want passed down to the family in future generations?
  • Do you or your spouse have children from a prior marriage? Have you done the necessary planning and had conversations with your spouse and/or children about how you want to handle this delicate blended family situation?
Again, these can (and often are) very difficult discussions to have, but we see it all too often where children are left completely out of the loop and are blindsided with the time comes. They also may have some anxiety or fears around theses issues and may not be sure how to bring them up, so it is helpful if these conversations are initiated by the parent(s).

Nobody likes to think about falling ill or passing away. It's certainly not a "fun" topic of conversation, but by having these kinds of conversations, you can also bring your family a lot closer (both while you're healthy and alive, as well as when you are gone).

Further, if you haven't completed your estate plan or you haven't reviewed your existing estate plan in over 3 years, we recommend that there's no better time than right now to make sure that these important estate planning matters are properly taken care of, maintained and kept up-to-date.

Contact our office at 661-945-5868 or feel free to attend one of our upcoming seminars. In particular, you might want to attend one of our Successor Trustee seminars with your trustees and adult children, so that we can help get these conversations started for you and your family.

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