Preparing for your Consultation
Because You Care Questions™
These estate planning questions promote thought and dialogue vital to your family. You can use the controls to advance through the slides, or let them play. We encourage you to work through each question as you prepare for your first consultation with us!
"The Organized One"
Who is the best “paperwork person” you know? Whose checkbook is always balanced and bills are paid on time? Is that person willing and able to handle your finances for you if you cannot handle them yourself?
Where do you want your wealth to go?
When you “get on the bus,” where do you want your wealth to go? How much and when? Is there anyone you want to disinherit?
Items of sentimental value
Do you have items of personal sentimental value – jewelry, artwork, photos, figurines, furniture, etc. – that you would like specific people to have after you “get on the bus?”
Health Care Surrogate
Who will make medical decisions for you if you are expected to survive, but unable to communicate? (This person is known as your “Health Care Surrogate.”) For example, if you were in an accident, who could consent to surgery for you?
If you were fatally ill with no hope of recovery and a machine was keeping you alive, would you want someone to “pull the plug” for you so you could die a natural death? (We name this person in your “Living Will.”) Who will do this for you?
Who will raise your minor children if you cannot? Does this person live in Florida? Or outside of the U.S.? Who could pick your child up from school in an emergency?
Are you divorced?
Are you legally divorced? Do you have financial obligations to your ex-spouse under your Marital Separation Agreement? (For example, keeping life insurance in place until your child turns 18.)
Are any of your beneficiaries receiving government benefits? Are you caring for or supporting a loved one who has special needs?
Marriage & Family
Are you legally married? Do you or your spouse have children who are not children of this marriage?
Is privacy important to you? Would it bother you if, after you “get on the bus,” the world knew to whom you left your wealth, and how much you were worth?
Durable Power of Attorney
In your “Durable Power of Attorney,” you name someone (agent or attorney-in-fact) to legally “be you” to handle your financial affairs or civil rights during your life. Whom do you trust to name?
If you lose your mental capacity, Florida presumes your Guardian to be 1. Spouse; then 2. Adult Child; then 3. Parent. Would you prefer to name someone else?
A minor's inheritance
If you “get on the bus” with no Will, Florida hands money inherited by minor children to them at age 18 with no restraints. Would you prefer to control the terms of your minor child’s inheritance?
Who is in charge?
If you “get on the bus,” whom do you want to be in charge of your children’s inheritance? At what age do you believe your children will be mature enough to be in charge of their inheritance?
Are there issues of substance abuse or mental health to plan around? Are any of your beneficiaries in a bad marriage or unhealthy relationship?
Access to digital assets – passwords and logins – is vital in a crisis. Do you have an updated list of online accounts? Who else knows where it is?
If you could leave your wealth to your loved ones in a way that protects them from predators, creditors, or their own bad decisions, would that be of interest to you?
Do you want to be cremated or buried? Whom would you like to be in charge of your funeral arrangements?
Who will inherit your dog? Your cat? Your parrot? Do you want to make special provisions for the care of your pets?
Do you have charities that hold your heart? Do you support them now? Do you want to support them after you are gone?
Do you know what assets you own by yourself? What do you own joint with rights of survivorship with someone else? Whom did you name as your beneficiary for your life insurance or retirement plans?