Who knew I could be so intimidating? Terrifying, even! I always thought of myself as a mild-mannered Tucson estate planning attorney, but when I read an article published on msnbc.com which was written by columnist Jen Lancaster, I learned that a visit with me strikes real terror in the minds of some of my clients.
Actually, I plan on using this to my advantage when my daughter starts dating. I’ll politely greet her date at the door before the grilling starts.
“Trevor, it’s so good to meet you. Elisabeth will be ready to go in just a minute, but before she is ready, do you mind answering a couple of questions?”
“Of course not.”
“Great. Whom would you like to handle your affairs when you are incapacitated?”
“Gee, I’ve never thought about that. My parents, I guess.”
“OK, how about when you die?”
“Um, you know I’m only seventeen, right?”
“Oh sure, but I just want to clear up one more thing. Who gets all of your worldly possessions when you are no longer here?”
“You’re making me uncomfortable.”
I think Trevor will get the message, although my daughter may never forgive me. But what about the clients I don’t want to intimidate—those who actually want to plan ahead so that their families aren’t left with a mess?
I have known for a long time that talking about death, dying and disability is very uncomfortable for many people. I have to remind myself of that from time to time, as dealing with these issues has become an almost daily affair for me over the almost 20 years that I have been an attorney in the Tucson and Sonoita area. No one wants to consider his or her mortality, much less the mortality of loved ones.
If talking about your own death or serious illness weren’t challenging enough, making decisions now about what will happen after you die or are no longer able to make decisions for yourself can easily put you over the edge. Some of the most difficult decisions I have ever made, and some of the most serious discussions I have ever had with my wife, have centered around who will raise our children if we are no longer here.
So I get it, I think. Estate planning is not for the weak of heart. Then why do so many of my clients go through this legal torture chamber? Because there is a prize on the other side.
Many of my clients have told me that after they finished planning their estates, they felt an immense sense of peace of mind. Estate planning can’t keep bad things from happening, but there is one almost universal response to having organized and planned your affairs so that your loved ones aren’t left to sort out the morass you might otherwise leave behind. That response is the assurance you have done everything you possibly could do so that your family or friends, or both, are taken care of not only while you are alive, but even after your death. That peace and assurance is surely worth the frightening path you might take to get there.
If you are in the Tucson area and need an attorney, reach out to our offices today for help. Contact us at (888) 222-1328 for assistance.
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