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Helping a Loved One Complete Their Estate Planning

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

It’s a scenario that happens regularly. I will get a phone call from a son or daughter or a close family friend who wants to know how they can get their parent, friend or loved one to visit an estate planning attorney before it’s too late. This happens, usually because there is some indication of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease or some other illness or issue that reduces their family member or loved one’s ability to take care of basic life functions.

To be crystal clear, no one can be forced to do estate planning if they don’t want to. However, there are many things that you can do to encourage your loved one or family member to get their plan done. The purpose of this article is to explain what some of these things are. Hopefully one or more of these things will help you help your family member or loved one move forward.

Provide Them With an Easy Way to Start

As the premier Idaho estate planning law firm for more than 70 years, our team of exceptional lawyers have learned that the easier you can make the process the more likely it is that your family members or loved ones will take the step towards getting it done. As an estate planning attorney who has practiced for more than 20 years, I can tell you that the process really isn’t that difficult at all. However, because most people don’t have this kind of experience, the process is unknown to them. Things that are unknown usually generate fear. Our goal is to take that fear away and to make the process simple.

Our free Estate Planning Questionnaire is the easiest way to start estate planning. We include a downloadable copy on our website to make it easy for our clients to get. The Questionnaire itself is also very simple and easy to use.

It starts by gathering information about the individuals themselves such as their full legal names, their address, their age, whether they are married and the names of their children or grandchildren. From there, it asks additional basic questions and provides information about estate planning to help individuals determine the information they need to write down based on their circumstances.

Even when moving slowly, the entire process of going through and filling out the Questionnaire usually takes less than an hour. When the Questionnaire is done, we then provide a free 30-minute consultation where we review the Questionnaire and information with our client and answer all their questions about estate planning. We also use this time to describe the options that are available to our clients based on what it is they want to accomplish. We also provide our clients with the flat fee prices we charge for each of the options discussed. This way, when we are done with our free consultation, our clients have all the information they need to decide what they want to get done and whether they want to hire our law firm to help them do it.

We’ve found this process to be easy for all of our clients. In fact, when our clients are done with the Questionnaire and the free consultation most of them tell us how much easier the process actually was than they thought it would be. They also often tell us they wished they had gotten it done earlier.

Rely on Professionals They Already Trust

If your family member or loved one is reluctant to visit an attorney because they are afraid of how much it will cost or they aren’t sure exactly what they want to do then we suggest that you rely on other professionals that your family member or loved one already trusts. This could include an accountant, a financial planner, or other professionals that they have a relationship with.

Many times these professionals can also provide basic advice about estate-planning and how it will help them. Additionally, these professionals can also often provide referrals to attorneys they have worked with that are good.

Go With Them to Meet the Estate Planning Attorney

As I mentioned, fear of the unknown often stops people from accomplishing what needs to be done. Because of this, an additional thing you can do is go with your family member or loved one to meet with the estate planning attorney. Sometimes all a person needs is a little support to get the things done that need to be done.

We understand that sometimes your parent, family member, or loved one is reluctant to get their estate planning done. Whatever the reasons, the options listed above help most people move forward with this important goal. If you have any questions or concerns we encourage you to contact us for a free 30-minute consultation where we can answer your questions and help you move forward with your own estate plan or help your family member or loved one get their estate planning done.

Enlist an Idaho Estate Planning Attorney to Help You

Our team of Idaho lawyers can help you with any of your estate planning or probate needs. Whether you are seeking to create or review an estate plan for yourself or would like to help a loved one, we are available to discuss your options and answer your questions at an initial free 30-minute consultation. Call us toll free at 877.232.6101 or 208.232.6101 for a free consultation. You can also email us directly at lane@racineolson.com or stop by our office at 201 East Center Street, Pocatello, Idaho 83201. We will answer your questions and help you solve your Idaho Estate Planning problems.

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