An Estate Plan You Can Understand

Q. What do you get when you cross a lawyer with The Godfather?
A. An offer you can’t understand.

The above joke relates one of the most common complaints that people have about lawyers: they speak and write in “legalese.” An unfortunate result is that many people have estate planning documents that they don’t understand. If you’re not sure what your Will, Living Trust, Power of Attorney or other estate planning documents provide, how can you know if they’re right for you?

One of the core concepts of Better Estate Planning is that you should be able to understand your estate plan and realize how it will benefit you and your loved ones. Here are some of the things we do to make that happen.

1. We will never just put a document in front of you and say “sign here.”

We will give you a “guided tour” of every document you sign, so that you will know what you are signing and why.

2. Every document you sign will be accompanied by a document that explains its purpose and tells you how, when and by whom the document will be used in carrying out your estate plan.

3. We will do our best to minimize the use of “legalese” in your documents.

When we must use particular terms of art in order for a document to accomplish its intended purpose (for example, to comply with a specific provision of a tax law), we will explain those terms of art.

4. If you choose, we will include as part of your Better Estate Planning process a meeting with you and the people who will be called upon to carry out your estate plan “when the time comes,” so that they will be prepared to successfully carry out their responsibilities.

5. Your Better Estate Planning portfolio will include some forms that will help you to organize the personal information (for example, where to find your important documents) that the people called upon to carry out your estate plan will need to do the best possible job.

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