My very first blog post for our new website talked about the differences between on-line estate planning services and using a flesh and blood attorney. One of the big differences is that while it is easy to get power to someone, to direct that someone gets something from your estate, or someone else is in charge of one part and someone else is in charge of another, it is much harder to plan for what comes after. Estate planning with "what comes next" and "how will this really work" is what a good estate planning attorney brings to the table. Not only have we seen what happens when everything goes wrong, but we have seen what works and what does not, to fix it.
As a father of three girls (granted they are 9, 12 and 14 going on 21) I already worry about how they will relate to each other as adults. The answer is not always to make everyone equal, or to spread power around, but to think about your kids, and your spouse (in a second marriage), how they communicate now, who they are now, and not just who you hope they will be in the future.
Although some of her article does not apply to US law, Nancy J. White's January 2, 2015 article for the Toronto Star, Parents Should Ask: ‘Will My Children Be Talking After I Die?’ brings up some of the issues we try and deal with. If you see yourself, or your family, in her article, it is time to come in and talk about planning for your family's future peace.