Many people put off or never do estate planning because thinking about the possibility of disability or the inevitability of death is not generally a fun activity.. But it is important that you do so, and you will almost certainly feel better once you have completed a plan. Here are some basic questions you need to think about:

1. What property do you own or lease, by yourself or with others, and is it subject to a lien, mortgage, or other obligation that survives your death?

2. Do you want particular people to have particular property, and if so who and what? Examples include named beneficiaries on titled accounts, policies, and benefit plans; real estate, and items of personal property with value, whether financial or emotional.

3. Who do you want to have any other property (or if the answer to 2. is no, all other property)?

4. Who do you want to manage your property if you can’t during your lifetime? You should have a first choice and at least one back-up.

5. Who do you want to make medical decisions for you if you can’t during your lifetime, including your wishes regarding life-support? While these are often the same people you trust about managing your property, they don’t have to be.

6. Who do you want to manage and disburse your property when you die? Again, having a few choices, in order of preference, is a good idea.

7. How will the proper people be able to find out about your decisions for 2-6 at the appropriate time?

You certainly don’t need to answer these questions by yourself, as our office, and other trusted advisers, are available to assist you. But just thinking about the questions, and even determining the answers, is not enough. You need to take action to make sure what you want to happen does. We can definitely help you with that. And we are pretty certain that not only will you will be glad that you did, but your loved ones will be singing your praises when you are in a better place.