Ask Yourself Hard Questions when Estate Planning

Wills are one of the most common documents found in Washington estate plans. While wills are an essential and important aspect of estate planning, many people still fail to address some of the more uncomfortable topics. Instead of avoiding the difficult topics regarding end-of-life care and other unavoidable events, engaging in open dialogue can help create the soundest estate plan possible.

Most people know whether they want to receive life-saving medical interventions and spell out their wishes in their wills. What this fails to address is the type of care a person would like to receive prior to needing serious medical intervention. For instance, would someone prefer later-in-life care to happen at a medical facility, or would he or she prioritize in-home care above all else? Retaining dignity throughout life by maintaining control over medical care can be planned for through estate planning.

For some, maintaining a sense of dignity applies to after death. Although some individuals might belong to a culture or religion with clear expectations for funerals, this is not always the case, nor is it a guarantee that a person’s wishes will be carried out respectfully. Providing written instructions regarding these wishes are an important part of any estate plan and can help prevent grieving loved ones from making difficult decisions on their own.

Discussing death and end-of-life care is understandably difficult. However, failing to address these topics can ultimately put an even greater hardship on loved ones who are left guessing as to what another person’s wishes truly were. By addressing difficult topics, spelling out wishes plainly and regularly updating documents as needed, individuals in Washington can make the estate planning process work for themselves.

Source:, “Don’t Neglect the Softer Side of Your Estate Plan“, Christine Benz, Sept. 17, 2017

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