Oh man, days with the internet on the outs at Gumbelhaus… but I’m finally connected and back on the saddle.
So, I’ve hit on the first two important factors that make your estate plan unique to you: your location and your assets. But, one of the most important factor is your family situation.
Or as I say, your squirrels.
People aren’t perfectly logical. They don’t always do the thing that makes the most sense. They don’t always do what’s in their best interest and they don’t always extend the benefit of the doubt to the people around them. People are squirrelly, to varying degrees.
When dealing with the trauma and stress of losing some one, they get even squirrellier. People who are typically logical, can now have difficulty doing so. And people who are already squirrelly, can get even more so. The thousands of questions that can come up about how to honor you and how to deal with your stuff can turn the best of relationships into a competition.
And you won’t be there to referee.
So. You think about what you have and you think about where you want it to go. You think about who you trust to deal with getting what you have to those people. That involves people and you need to take into account their personalities. You have to truly and honestly evaluate them and the relationships they have with each other.
Some of those people might not be blood relations. That’s okay. But understand how your nearest relations might react. For those stuck assets, your next of kin might have to be informed. That could be a good thing for you or a bad thing.
When you plan for the most efficient transfer, you have to take into account your squirrels. That’s why working with a lawyer who knows how transfers after death work is so important. They can help you see potential problems your squirrels could cause and ways to prevent or minimize them.
For some families, communicating your plans can be particularly helpful.
In any case, have a good plan for your estate. Remember, this is more than just documents. A good plan takes really understanding your assets and setting them up to transfer in the most efficient way. That efficient way is unique to you and will depend on where you are, the types of assets you have, and your squirrels.