An estate plan is a set of documents providing orderly arrangement and management of one's affairs should he or she dies or become incapacitated to do so. It includes a Will, Healthcare Power of Attorney, a Health Care Directive, and Financial Durable Power of Attorney.
The purpose of estate planning is to control your personal asset, lower task costs associated with your death, ensure that all your estate and assets planned out and allocated according to your own wishes.
Hence, while you're married, it's advised that each of you create a separate estate plan. However, does this mean that you should also get a different estate planner? The answer is yes. There are three of the reasons why your spouse and you should avoid using the same estate planner.
During the process of completing estate planning, it is important for you to have full confidence in your estate planning attorney. If you and your spouse have the same estate planner, it might be difficult for you to develop such trust especially if you and your spouse tend to have disagreements about your estate planning. You may withhold information or try to hide some important details about your properties and assets. Without full confidence with your estate planner, you may end up not taking full advantage of the process of estate planning. If you have an estate planner of your own, you can be in full confidence. For properties and assets that are not conjugal, you can confidently disclose information that you prefer not to tell to your spouse to facilitate a more favorable estate planning process.
Avoiding Conflict of Interest
Another reason for hiring a separate estate planner is to avoid conflict of interest. This especially applies if your and/or your spouse had children from previous marriages. With a different estate planner, you and your spouse can freely discuss your preferences in naming executors, trustees, guardians, and beneficiaries for properties and assets outside the current marriage.
Lastly, with one estate planning attorney, you might find it difficult to talk about your properties and assets in case the marriage ends up in a divorce. It could be awkward to talk about the changes in estate planning if you have just one planner. However, while it would be best if this does not happen, broken marriages are a reality in married life. If you have a separate estate planning attorney, you can freely discuss the possibility of divorce without actually resulting in a conflict with your spouse in case of disagreements.
In the end, while using one estate planning attorney can have its advantages such as being cost-effective, having a separate one could have deeper advantages that better serve the essence of estate planning. Contact a law office like Acton & Snyder, LLP for more information and assistance.