Sharing Information With Your Estate Planning Attorney
When you finally decide that it is time to make your estate plan you will have to schedule a meeting with an estate planning attorney. There will come a point when the conversation with your estate planning attorney may get uncomfortable or personal and you feel that you should not reveal everything and hold some information back.
Deciding to hold back information could jeopardize your plan for your estate though. Your estate plan is only as good as how much you share with your estate planning attorney.
This means that your attorney can only make a plan with the information they are given. The attorney makes the plan for your estate based on the goals of the client and the facts the client chooses to share. If there are goals that the client has for their plan, but refuses to share then the attorney might not be able to make a plan to achieve those goals. More often there are facts the client will hold back out of fear of shame or discomfort that can dramatically alter the plan. Family problems or personal problems of potential heirs must be shared with the estate attorney to make sure the best estate plan is made. If a child has an addiction problem, it may not be something you want to share with everyone, but it is something that must be shared with an estate planning attorney to protect that child's potential inheritance and their well being. Estate planning attorneys are most likely going to rely on information that is provided to them by the client in making an plan, and not do any independent investigation of the facts.
The attorney is held to a strict standard of confidentiality once the attorney client relationship begins. This means that the attorney cannot reveal any confidential information that you choose to share with them. Deep dark family secrets and concerns that may be inappropriate to discuss with family members or the general public are held between the attorney and the client and this information remains confidential even after you die. With this standard in place there is no reason to be concerned about sharing and bearing all with your attorney. They have heard it all and should not be too shocked. It is best to be straight forward and honest with the estate attorney to make sure that there are no problems down the road.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Evan Guthrie Law Firm
Evan Guthrie Law Firm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of South Carolina. The Evan Guthrie Law Firm practices in the areas of estate planning probate personal injury and divorce and family law.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.