18 Oct How To Talk To Key Members Of Your Estate Plan
A key component of estate planning involves naming individuals to stand in for you in the case of a medical emergency or death. We’ve written extensively on how to choose a legal guardian for minor children and what to look for in a personal representative, but how do you ask your ideal candidates if they’re willing to take on a role in your plan? Read on to find out.
How to start the conversation
The first step is to start the conversation. It can be difficult to ask someone to take on a task as daunting as serving as your children’s legal guardian in the event something happens to you. It’s not necessarily any easier asking them to fill a smaller, short-term role, such as serving as your personal representative when you die. So how do you start these difficult conversations? To begin, try to broach the subject during a normal conversation in a calm atmosphere. You could bring it up with a phrase as simple as: “We met with a lawyer the other day to talk about estate planning.” Or, “I’ve been trying to get my estate plan in order.”
How to ask the question
Once you have the conversation started, you need to ask the actual question. First, let your chosen individual know what role you’re asking them to fill. For example, “We’d like to ask you to be our children’s legal guardian in the event something happens to us.” Or, “I’d like to ask you to serve as the personal representative of my estate.” Let your candidate know why you think they’d be a good fit for the job. Give them time to ask questions of their own. Then, move on to the next step.
Talk about the responsibilities
Your ideal candidate needs to be aware of the responsibilities they’d be accepting when taking on a role in your estate plan. Different roles require the completion of different tasks. For example, your durable power of attorney would make financial decisions on your behalf in the event you become incapacitated while your medical power of attorney would be responsible for making your medical decisions. Each individual you’re naming needs to know exactly what they’d be handling when the time comes so they can decide if they’re up to the challenge.
Accept their response, whatever it may be
Ideally, your candidate says yes to accepting the responsibility you’ve asked of them. They may not, however. Be prepared for a no and be willing to accept their response. You have nothing to lose by asking them to fill a role and everything to gain. This is because asking your candidate if they’re willing to accept a role in your estate plan enables you to come up with a back up plan in the event they say no. That way, no one is surprised. You can rest assured the person chosen for the job is up to the challenge, so when the time comes, your documents and selected individuals do their jobs as planned.
How can Boyum Law Firm help you?
Boyum Law Firm can help you with your estate planning, Medicaid planning, and probate law needs. To contact Boyum Law, click here.