A major motivating factor for many of our clients is the birth of a new child. Another key event is the death of a loved one. This prompted me to think about some of the other avenues that people find their way to an estate planning lawyer:
- If you have young children, you may visit an estate planning lawyer to make sure that you've named a guardian in case something happened to you or your spouse.
- If you have assets, you may want to set up one or more trusts to ensure that the property you leave to your young children or other family members will be managed properly.
- If you have children, family members with disabilities, or family members who are receiving government benefits, you may want to identify a way to provide them with assets without jeopardizing the government benefits that they receive, which may entail the use of a special needs trust.
- You might be the beneficiary of your parents' or another person's trust and want to know your rights under the terms of that trust.
- If you're in a same-sex relationship, you may want to learn about the implications of entering into a registered domestic partnership or marrying your partner. These discussions might include tax and property consequences as a result of your union.
- You might own a business and are unsure of who or how you will transition the business once you pass away.
- Perhaps you have specific wishes with respect to your health care or burial and want to make sure that those wishes are carried out if you ever become disabled, or when you pass away.
These are just some of the reasons why clients seek out an estate planning lawyer and can serve as a checklist for you and your family situation.