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Forbes: Get Them Jamming On Estate Planning

Danielle Mayoras, who co-authored Trial & Heirs:  Famous Fortune Fights! with me, recently wrote an article for to help financial advisers, attorneys, and other professionals get their clients talking about estate planning, using celebrity stories.  Most people don't like to even discuss the legal planning for what happens after they die, much less actually do the planning. 

That's why celebrity stories can help break the ice and get the conversation started.  Here's her article with specific tips on how:

As professionals, one of the challenges that we have is motivating our clients to do their estate planning. You can educate clients about the proper estate planning and how it can help them, their families and their estate tax returns. The fact of the matter remains, however, that many clients will have excuses to push their legal planning to the back burner. Jimi Hendrix

Reasons that you may have heard include being too busy with kids, jobs or parents to take the time to do the planning. Others may be uncomfortable with the subject, have uncooperative spouses or simply have difficulty making decisions about who will be their trustees or beneficiaries. Whatever the reasons, procrastination is common when it comes to clients doing the proper estate planning, and this is one of the reasons that my husband, Andrew, and I wrote Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights!

Celebrity stories can help you translate the often-challenging discussion about estate planning into a fun and entertaining conversation with your clients. Instead of clients examining their own lives, you can point to the stories ranging from Jimi Hendrix to Frank Sinatra and Princess Diana to help motivate them.

Despite a reluctance to get down to planning, many clients do have serious concerns. What will happen once mom and dad pass away? Have they done their will or trust? Is it updated? Where is it? What professionals do they work with? Where are the documents located? Here are five important areas in which you can get your clients thinking and talking about estate planning, partly with the help of a celebrity anecdote:

[Read the rest of the article on by clicking here]

Posted by:  Author and probate attorney Andrew W. Mayoras, co-author of Trial & Heirs:  Famous Fortune Fights! and co-founder and shareholder of The Center for Probate Litigation and The Center for Elder Law in metro-Detroit, Michigan, which concentrate in probate litigation, estate planning, and elder law.  You can email him at awmayoras @

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