Include These 4 Scenarios In Your Estate Plan

When someone sits down to discuss the future with an estate planning attorney, they're often focused on what will happen to their legacy when they die. You certainly want to have that conversation with an estate planning legal attorney, but there are others you need to have, too. Let's look at four such situations.


Although people often focus on their eventual passing in making estate plans, there is the additional scenario where you might be incapacitated. Health problems are among the most common sources of incapacitation. If you undergo surgery, for example, you might need someone to make decisions for a while. There are should also be terms that explain what triggers a review of the situation, such as improved health or the need for a regular review date.

You'll also want to set up provisions for long-term incapacitation scenarios. This reduces the risk that you might end up in a scenario where a judge appoints a guardian. Asking an estate planning attorney to draw up provisions will provide you greater control over a situation involving long-term incapacitation.


What happens if someone disappears or is believed to be dead without definitive proof? Without documents outlining what others should do, your finances and estate could be in limbo for years.

The scenario plays out quite similarly to incapacitation. However, your safe and healthy return is all that's necessary to shut the measures down.


Not all adverse scenarios involve the grantor of an estate. What happens if an executor is unable to discharge their duties? By naming a successor, you can add a failsafe. Otherwise, a probate court will have to appoint an administrator.

It's wise to name at least one successor. Likewise, you should conduct an annual review with the help of an estate planning legal attorney. You can touch base with the executor and successor to make sure they're well and still able to do the job. If they're not, your counsel can make appropriate revisions to the estate's documents.


Similar questions emerge if beneficiaries have passed without heirs. If you don't specify provisions for what happens in that scenario, the executor will have broad leeway to decide what to do. Many grantors elect to donate non-distributable assets or funds to charities, for example. If you'd prefer a particular distribution among the remaining beneficiaries, you can specify that in the plans.

For more information on estate planning, contact a law firm in your area, such as the Law Offices of Paolo Conte PLLC.