Monday, February 20, 2017
Amy F. Altman recently published an Article entitled, Preventing Morbid Litigation: Ask Clients About Their Funeral Arrangements, Tr. & Est. 16 (Feb. 2017). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:
As estate planners, we’re accustomed to asking our clients for personal information, such as their finances and family dynamics, to obtain a good grasp of their estate-planning goals. Without such questions and forthright answers, a planner would be at a loss in terms of how to appropriately plan for their clients. The result of this dialogue is the foundation of any well thought-out estate plan. One of a planner’s ultimate objectives is to create a plan that works under any set of circumstances, from natural disaster to unborn children. However, how often are we as planners asking our clients about their funeral arrangements? Practitioners should always ask clients a simple series of questions, such as: (1) who they want to be in charge of their final disposition, (2) whether they prefer burial over cremation, and (3) where they wish to be buried or interred. Practitioners may be reluctant to ask such questions possibly because the questions raise the issue of the client’s mortality. The same may be said about the client’s willingness to answer.