When we go to the eye doctor to get a new prescription, the doctor will have us look through many different lenses, constantly asking us which lens provides us with the clearest vision. Much like the eye doctor, I believe that the role of the estate planning attorney is to provide you with estate plan options that most clearly reflect your vision for your plan. You see, both estate planning lawyers and eye doctors strive to provide clarity.
Estate planners must focus on three points for their clients: speaking clearly must accurately communicate your wishes and intentions to your fiduciaries and beneficiaries so what you intend is honored and respected; and making sure your written plan precisely mirrors your wishes.
When you seek counsel to pass on your estate, I believe you are asking for more than written legal documents like a Will and Trust. When you go for new glasses, you need more than frames. Proper lenses bring everything into focus.
Peace of mind comes from a sense that your written estate plan documents safely pass on your legacy, minimize tax, avoid probate, and prevent family fights. Perhaps you are concerned about also protecting the assets from creditors, predator or ex-spouses. Your plan has to be specific enough to speak clearly for you when you no longer can.
Your attorney must first look and listen attentively to understand your hopes and goals; then offer you options that create an estate plan that your heirs can read and understand without questions or doubt. When the prescription is perfect, and the glasses fit, it’s easy to see your way.