When you are considering the preparation of a Will or other estate planning legal document it is very important to review all of your assets, liabilities, income, title ownership, expectations, life insurance plans, sheltered accounts and retirement horizon with your attorney and financial planner. Part of my career experience over the years was my service as a Probate Court Judge for 24 years. I have seen, in that capacity, estate planning documents being presented for probate which, unfortunately, did not reflect the actual needs and circumstances of the survivor. I thought on many such occasions that the legal representative who had prepared the document may not have performed a comprehensive overview of the entire situation of the testator at the time of the document preparation. There are times when asset ownership should be changed, projected estate liquidity needs assessed and supplemented, etc. With younger couples who are many years from retirement and have minor children other considerations may be paramount-how do we replace earnings? How do we pay the mortgage? How do we provide for future education needs? If the parents die in a common accident who will be the guardian and will money be available? At which age should children be allowed to gain their inheritance? And there are many more questions which should be discussed and considered. In my opinion there is no substitution for a face-to-face comprehensive discussion with your attorney.
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