People put off drafting their Estate Plans for a variety of reasons. Over the past twenty-five years in my Culver City office I have heard everything from “Estate Planning is only for the wealthy, not me” to “if I make a plan, I will die because the plan is already in place.” These and other Estate Planning misconceptions are for another post, for now I would like to focus on Estate Planning for parents.
One of the largest obstacles that keeps parents from meeting with an Estate Planning attorney is the issue of guardianship. As a parent choosing the best school, packing the perfect lunch, and checking for monsters under the bed are all standard, but entertaining the idea of who you would select to do these things if you could no longer do them is an emotional process. For anyone, thinking about the decisions that they would make for their loved ones after they have passed is difficult, in many respects this becomes even harder as a parent.
Many parents avoid creating an Estate Plan, and use the unlikelihood of needing one as an excuse. While it is true that it is very unlikely that both parents will pass away or become incapacitated at the same time, unlikely does not mean impossible and sadly these situations do happen. I hope for all of my clients that this is never the case; at the same time I urge those who are parents to consider the alternative, having a judge who does not know you or your family’s situation make these tough decisions on your behalf.
Estate Planning and Probate Attorney, Manhattan Beach Local, Sports Enthusiast