Q: Why is estate planning important?
LL: Two reasons estate planning is of critical importance are: 1. to make sure your wishes are known, 2. to provide peace of mind for your loved ones. When it is clear what your wishes are and steps have been taken to put things in place with advanced planning, it is a lot easier on your loved ones when you are gone. It is truly a gift.
Q: How do you encourage young people to take estate planning seriously?
LL: Estate planning is important for young people for many reasons. For one, a will is the single document that determines guardianship for any minor children. If a young adult doesn’t have children, it’s still meaningful to plan, as there are laws of intestacy that dictate what happens with your estate if you do not have a will in place. Many young people have desires for what they would like to do with their assets and belongings if they were to die, other than what the laws of intestacy dictate.
Additionally, a common misconception about our work is that you must be well established financially to have an estate plan. This is simply not true. Estate plans are designed to pass whatever is in your estate at the time of your death to the people or organizations that you choose. Even modest estates require proper planning.
Q: What is your favorite thing about the work you do?
LL: My favorite thing about being an estate planning attorney is getting to know my clients. I love learning about unique family dynamics and hearing about how my clients have built their assets over their lifetimes. I also really enjoy meeting with new clients when they are in the preliminary planning stages and working with them to create an estate plan that is tailor-made and will best carry out their wishes.
Q: What's something most people don't know about you?
LL: One thing people may not know about me is that I was very involved in hunting and fishing with my dad growing up (and still am). I was the only girl in my hunter’s safety course, and I’ve traveled from Zimbabwe to Alaska hunting and fishing alongside my dad. I prefer hunting to fishing, and bird hunting and shooting shotguns are my favorite.
Q: How has COVID-19 changed estate planning?
LL: First and foremost, I think a global pandemic has encouraged many people to finally take estate planning seriously. If it was a task item sitting on a to-do list, many clients contacted us to begin the process, which I think is both smart and indicative of these uncertain times.
On a personal level, estate planning attorneys make up a segment of the legal arena that has continued to work in person. Will signings make up a large part of our practice and require two witnesses and a notary to be legal, which must be done in person. I should note that we are happy to take online appointments for the planning and drafting process leading up to the signing, but when it comes to the signing, we wear our masks and work thoughtfully to provide safety and comfort to our clients to accomplish their estate planning goals.
Q: What would you like the community of Tillamook to know about you?
LL: I would like the people of the Tillamook area to know that estate planning was my first choice of practice area following law school. I am grateful to have the opportunity with Barbur Law to specialize in this field of work. It is deeply meaningful work. I am thrilled to be able to help people make their estate plans and to give them peace of mind.
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