In our previous post, we began speaking about some uncomfortable yet important questions that can come up in the estate planning process, and the need to address these questions. As we noted, this is not always easy to do, but well worth it.
There is an increasing prevalence of digital assets nowadays, and a corresponding widespread failure to get these assets in order in one's estate planning. In this area, it is important to make one's passwords, user names and answers to security questions available so these accounts can be accessed and dealt with when one passes on. One does not, of course, have to leave this information with one's attorney. It can also be left in a safe deposit box. In any case, making the information available is important to do.
The presence of prenuptial or postnuptial agreements or community property agreements should also be addressed, even if these are considered to be irrelevant. After your death, problems could arise which could complicate the estate. It is best to bring these up to one's attorney and deal with them proactively.
Serious or chronic health issues are another area people may sometimes be reluctant, or simply unaware, to bring up. Estate planning does take into account life expectancy, though, and utilizing these strategies depends upon knowing whether they will apply.
Doing estate planning should be seen as somewhat similar to going to the doctor. The doctor cannot heal you if you don't give them information about your illness. Similarly, an estate planning attorney has to know as much as possible about your situation-even the uncomfortable stuff-in order to come up with effective solutions and strategies.
Source: Forbes, "12 Estate Planning Questions That Might Make You Squirm," Deborah L. Jacobs, July 24, 2012