A little while ago I got off the phone with someone who was asking me questions about their own estate legal matters. I was one of those difficult conversations. He would ask me questions that were difficult to answer and when we were done with that issue, he would then add an entirely different issue.
A summary of his questions were:
- Is an olographic will valid (can't stand that question)?
- Does my estate plan cover my two kids (What does that mean?)?
- Are my stocks and bonds covered by my estate plan? (What does that mean?)
- What if I get sued? (What IF you get sued?)
- Will it cover the Trump tax plan thing? (What the heck are you trying to ask me?)
- I got some property in other states. Is that covered? (Covered from what?)
He kept making some blanket statements and then ask for my confirmation by saying, "CORRECT?" For example, "Mr. Rabalais, an olographic will is valid, CORRECT? Or does it have to be notarized every year."
All in all, the conversation was painful. My advice to this guy and his spouse would be the same advice I would give to anyone else who wants the legal protection for themselves and their family that is available.
"Let's get all of the decisionmakers involved (typically the husband and wife) together to have a mature discussion about what you want to accomplish. Let's lay it all out on the table. I'll likely ask you some questions, and then perhaps, I can suggest a simple but comprehensive legal program that can be put in place to give you and the your family the protections needed from whatever you need protection from (IRS, government, nursing home, blended family issues, lawsuits, estate tax, capital gains tax, income tax, etc.)"