In this episode, Heather Satin of Satin Legal shares her extensive knowledge of estate planning and makes a particularly scary topic seem a little easier to understand. Heather gives us so much valuable information—from the importance of having an estate plan and HIPAA forms in place to choosing guardians for our children and beneficiary designations.
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Heather shared so much valuable information in this episode! To help you focus in on some of the most important pieces, we’ve summarized our top three takeaways here!
Heather emphasized that the state’s plan isn’t always a bad one – if you have a simple family structure, your kids are no longer minors, and you’re happy with your state’s policy – great!
But for a lot of us?
We want a say in where our money goes and who gets guardianship of our children – especially if it means their probate process is much faster and cheaper.
Treat estate planning as an act of love and don’t put it off for another day.
There are a surprising number of people who don’t know they are named executors, trustees, or guardians in their loved ones wills. And that causes more strain and uncertainty.
We’re asking our loved ones to take on a burden – and it is a burden, even if they love us with their whole hearts.
So, before you name someone in your will, ask them if they are comfortable with it first. Let them know that you realize that it’s a lot to ask and that it is a burden. And – as Heather said – be ready for them to say no.
Would it be hard to hear them say no? Hard to discuss a world without you in it?
But a world where your children’s caretaker only takes them out of obligation – or where your child has to hear someone in their life stand up in Family Court and say they don’t want them – that’s worse.
Estate planning is difficult because it feels so overwhelming final. Like we’re carving our wishes into stone and what if we make the wrong choice?!
Yet, updating a will or even a trust isn’t hard. If relationships change, your lifestyle changes, or kids just get older and want a say in where they would go – make a change.
It’s better to make the best choice you can today than wait and have no record of your wishes when you need them.
Heather is a business and estate planning attorney committed to helping protect families and the businesses they run. Heather regularly teaches on estate planning and business law topics, and has held numerous positions in advanced legal education, including Editor in Chief and Vice President of WealthCounsel, a national estate planning organization dedicated to teaching and supporting estate planners, Director of Continuing Legal Education with Continuing Education of the Bar (UCLA), and head of Thomson Reuters’ California Legal Editorial Operations center in San Francisco.
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