How to overcome obstacles and make an estate plan

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Talking about an estate plan may be uncomfortable, but local attorney Amy Kuronen says it’s extremely important.

Kuronen says the important elements of an estate plan fall into two categories: Asset Transfer and Incapacity Planning.

Asset Transfer

  • Wills and trusts
  • Beneficiary designations
  • Transfer deeds
  • Gifting strategies

Incapacity Planning

  • Power of attorney
  • Healthcare directives

She said the first step to having a good estate plan is overcoming obstacles and common objections.

Objection 1: “I don’t want to think about that.”

“One way to sort of combat that uncomfortableness is to understand that when you’re talking to your attorney and when you’re working on this, the focus is not on gloom-and-doom. It’s not on your death,” Kuronen said. “The focus is on what’s important to you during your lifetime, what’s important to your family, talking about your loved ones, talking about how you can best use your assets to benefit your loved ones.”

Objection 2: “It’s going to take so much time.”

“Yes. There is a bit of time involved,” she said. “What I will say about the timing is the estate planning process, planning on the front end, it goes much more quickly than if someone has not planned and then after they pass away and the time delays, the costs, the extra costs incurred, are more extensive after someone passes away.”

Objection 3: “I don’t have an estate.”

“The reality is if you have a house, if you own a house, if you have a bank account, if you have an IRA, you have an estate,” Kuronen said. “Incapacity planning is part of estate planning. And that really is all of us I think … would like to be prepared to make sure that the people that we want to make decisions on our behalf are the ones doing so.”

There are more resources on Amy’s website.