Bringing Awareness to Complex Family Situations
By: Cristin Gerczak, Esq.
January 12, 2021
Estate planning is not a no-brainer and there is no “simple” estate plan. Navigating the world of estate planning can be a challenge for many — especially in cases that involve complex family or business situations.
However, that does not mean estate planning should be ignored and set aside for another day — a day that may be too late. Instead, approaching estate planning with openness and mindfulness is the key to success. At Haimo Law, we have experience guiding clients through estate and business planning with what we like to call “mindful estate planning.”
What is mindfulness?
It involves being fully aware and present in the moment in order to acknowledge and accept your situation and, importantly, your emotions without judgment. And it’s about being open, honest, and realistic with yourself and your present circumstances — no matter how good, bad, or complicated they may be.
How Can Mindful Estate Planning Improve the Process For You?
If you are open, honest, and nonjudgmental regarding your situation, and work with a professional who is also open and non-judgmental, then you can more easily work towards a realistic plan that accomplishes your true goals. Deciding what happens when you pass away or become incapacitated is usually not a comfortable conversation, but it is a necessary one. Identifying your true feelings and goals empowers you to create the right plan.
There are many complex situations that require substantial thought. Blended families, individuals with no children, business owners, and investment property owners are just a few examples. Understanding your assets, liabilities, the practical realities of your circumstances, your goals, and your options are all necessary steps. The right estate and business planning attorney will make an otherwise difficult process more open, mindful, and smooth.
Try these three steps to get started:
- Recognize your needs and goals. This may mean an unequal distribution among family members of assets or business interests, or appointing certain people as your fiduciaries (to the exclusion of others).
- Understand your motivations. There is always a reason for our decisions, rational or otherwise. Understanding the intent will make step three less stressful.
- Overcome your fears. This last step generally requires conversations with family regarding steps 1 and 2, but it will be worth the peace of mind. We can help guide you through that process.
If you have done those three things, then the only thing left to do is trust that you have chosen the right attorney to help you create an estate plan according to your goals.
Mindful estate planning allows for a genuine assessment of your situation, fears, and goals to put you in the best position to create an effective estate and business plan. Don’t wait until it’s too late and your loved ones are left with the chaos of court, costs, and conflict in your wake. Give yourself peace of mind now by getting in touch.
Cristin Gerczak, Esq.
Strategic Planning With Purpose®
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