As the holiday season approaches, we anticipate joyous family gatherings, great food, holiday merriment, and…estate planning? While it may seem like a taboo topic for a fireside chat, estate planning is critically important, and the holidays can present the perfect time to get things in motion. Here at The Law Offices of Martha Patterson, our team of law professionals is here to ensure you have all the information you need to be successful in your planning.
The holiday season provides a great opportunity to discuss estate planning because families are gathered in person, in one place, and they are not as distracted by work or other day-to-day obligations. While it may seem awkward to initiate this kind of conversation, it is important to determine whether your parents have protections in place when it comes to their estate and their final wishes. There are a couple of different ways you can gently approach the topic. You can test the atmosphere first by having a series of brief/smaller conversations with other family members, or, you can wait for an opening in a group conversation (ex: a parent telling a story about a family heirloom). You could also initiate the discussion by asking your parents for advice about your own estate planning options. Or, you can have a family member who best relates to your parents raise the subject; this way, your parents are more likely to be open to a discussion of estate planning.
Remember, the goal of the discussion is not to find out what these estate planning documents contain or to obtain an asset for yourself. It is to determine whether your parents have carefully considered what they want to have happened with their estate and if they have appropriately memorialized those wishes. Knowing whether your parents have an estate plan in place can save you stress and frustration in an emergency. It can also provide peace of mind knowing that your parent’s financial, medical, and legal affairs are in order – and that they have selected the appropriate person to carry out their wishes.
Our team of elderly law professionals wants to make sure you and your loved one are prepared when it comes to ‘Alzheimer’s. Martha Patterson is certified as an elder law attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. There are only 32 Attorneys in California with this National Certification, which requires an attorney to prove their legal expertise and extensive experience providing services to clients in all areas of elder law, including trusts, wills, powers of attorney, healthcare directives, disability planning, Medicaid (Medi-Cal), ‘veterans’ benefits, Social Security, Medicare, and retirement benefits. Call today and schedule an appointment!
Martha Patterson is a California Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, and Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. She focuses on Elder Law, Asset Protection and Estate Planning. She is a Member of NAELA; Past President of Southern California NAELA. Featured on CNN, Good Morning America, NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox News, and radio stations KABC, KNX, and KKLA. She overcame incredible objections and enabled Kerri and Julie Kasem to visit their dad radio host Casey Kasem. She is a frequent lecturer for NBI, and is a at MCLE events, and public forums.