Facing one’s mortality is the unspoken uneasiness that rests just below the surface of the conversation with an estate planning attorney.

Estate planning attorneys are well-versed in the law of estate planning. But as they focus heavily on probate avoidance and tax minimization, they may overlook the emotional, human side of estate planning. Therefore, the best estate planning attorneys are counselors of law with the emphasis on counselor more than law.

While clients express their needs in avoiding probate and minimizing tax, estate planning attorneys must remember that underlying each and every client’s need is a deeper foundational need — a relational one — wanting to ensure that they do not burden their survivors with complex legal, administrative and financial matters. Clients want to make sure that whatever they own in material wealth smoothly passes onto the survivors and that the survivors can make good use of these assets to enhance their lives.

Clients must simply remember that after they pass, life doesn’t stop for their loved ones. So by leaving affairs in order — including financial, legal and tax issues — undue stress will be eliminated for your loved ones, who can then focus on your life, memory and legacy as they grieve.

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