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How Can I Be Terrifying, I’m an Estate Planning Attorney?

By September 24, 2012Estate Planning

Who knew I could be so intimidating? Terrifying, even! I always thought of myself as a mild-mannered estate planning attorney, but when I read an article published on 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. No one wants to consider his or her mortality, much less the mortality of loved ones.

If talking about your own death or serious illnessweren’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.


Why Choose Morris Hall:
You have a number of options when it comes to estate planning, so why pick Morris Hall?  First off, estate planning and asset protection are a very complicated endeavor and you should only trust someone who focuses exclusively on those matters.  Also, MH is a proud member of The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA) which provides us additional support, advanced training, tools and information that is not available to others – which means that we can better protect your assets and your loved ones.  We are one of only two firms in Arizona that belong to the AAEPA and are the only firm in New Mexico that has been granted membership.  If you have assets and loved ones that you want to protect, you are in good hands with MH.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

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