School navigation

Giving to the College

Plan for Your Loved Ones’ Security

June 01, 2010

Use these common estate planning considerations to trigger thoughtful conversation with your family today, ensuring them of your watchful assistance and giving you satisfaction of their future security. Planning for Mom and DadTalking with your parents about their estate plan can dramatically reduce family tension and personal stress. Discuss questions like:

  • Should your parents purchase long-term care insurance?
  • How will the family decide when Mom and Dad need more assistance?
  • Whom do your parents want to take on the role of agent for financial and medical powers of attorney?
  • Which people and organizations do Mom and Dad want to receive their assets after they’re gone?

Planning for Your SpouseIf you pass away before your spouse, you want to ensure that you provide for him or her. To do so, consider these elements of your estate plan:

  • Would a trust for your spouse’s benefit ensure that your spouse will receive proper care in the future?
  • Whom should your spouse name as the agent for financial and medical powers of attorney?
  • Should your spouse become the beneficiary of all your assets, or should some of the assets go to a trust, caregiver or charity?
  • What ownership designations on property titles will ensure tax and legal efficiency?

Planning for Your Brother or SisterSometimes, because of old age or disability, your siblings can require your help. If you’re responsible for their well-being, consider these questions:

  • Have you talked about assisted living or paid home-caregivers?
  • Are they eligible for subsidized services or financial assistance?
  • Should your brother or sister be listed as a beneficiary in your will?
  • Does your brother or sister need to name a backup agent to you on his or her financial or medical power of attorney?

Planning for Your Children or Other DependentsIf you still have children, grandchildren or other individuals depending on you, communicate these points in your estate plan:

  • Who will act as their guardian (daily caretaker) and conservator (person who handles money)?
  • Will your dependents receive your assets immediately or at a later date, should something happen to you?
  • Will their inheritance be designated for a specific purpose, such as education?
  • If your dependents leave behind no children, will the balance of their assets go to charity?

By taking time to answer these questions for yourself, asking them of others and recording the answers in writing with the assistance of an estate planning attorney, you can alleviate much of your worry about caring for your generations of loved ones. If you find that you need to make updates to your estate plans to ensure loved ones are provided for after you’re gone, please consider taking that time to also include Lewis & Clark in your plans. We would be happy to help with any questions you may have. Simply contact Sharon Bosserman-Benson for the Undergraduate or the Graduate School at 503-768-7911, 800-753-9292, or, or the Law School development office at 503-768-6901 or lawgive@lclark.eduWho Has the Power?A durable power of attorney is a document that allows the person you designate to make legal, financial and business decisions when you’re no longer able to make them yourself. Be sure to record your durable power of attorney in writing so that it’s honored by businesses and other financial institutions.

For more information: