“You never know what life is going to hold for you,” says George Broostin of his decision to work on his estate planning. “Unexpected things can happen no matter what your age.”
At the time, George and his husband, Jake, were making a life transition that involved a big move. Like marriage and starting a family, a move can be a trigger event that prompts people to consider estate planning. “We wanted to get our ducks in a row just in case something happened to us,” he says of their decision to work with Rachel at Schromen Law, LLC.
As a same-sex couple, George and Jake enjoyed working with Rachel because she was “very accommodating and open-minded.” She was able to guide them through important conversations about their estate and make sure their wishes were taken into consideration. That meant taking care of those “other” estate planning documents, healthcare directives and powers of attorney. In doing this, George was able to ensure that Jake — and vice versa — would have the legal authority to make decisions for him in case of an illness or incapacitation. “Tragedies happen,” George says. “If you don’t have a plan, then those decisions are taken out of your hands.”
Charitable giving was also an essential consideration for George, the senior philanthropy officer for Guild Services. With Rachel’s help, George and Jake were able to create named endowments within Guild’s endowment at the Saint Paul Foundation for each of their parents. “Those dollars — and our parents’ names — will live on in the endowment forever,” George says of their choice to create a legacy that will live long after George and Jake.
“No matter how big or small,” George adds, “charitable estate planning makes a tremendous impact. It can be transformative for an organization.” George suggests letting the organization know about your charitable estate plans ahead of time so they can prepare accordingly. One option for charitable estate giving is through listing percentages in your estate planning documents. “No matter what you end up with in the end,” George advises, “that percentage will go to the charity of your choice. Your wishes are still being fulfilled, and the charity benefits.”
When thinking of their experience with Schromen Law, George praises Rachel’s patience. “We went back and forth quite a bit to make adjustments to our plan,” he says. “You just keep second guessing yourself about the details.” Throughout that process of decision-making, though, Rachel was there to provide guidance.
George and Jake’s situation was complicated by a desire to plan for Jake’s nephews and niece — not yet adults — and George’s adult son. “There were a lot of variables,” George says, “but Rachel was very knowledgeable and thoughtful. She took the time that was necessary, and with me, that was a lot. She made a complicated subject easy.”
Years after making their estate plans with Schromen Law, George and Jake know they can easily make adjustments when necessary.
“You really need a talented planner to inform you of your options,” George says. He found that and more in his experience at Schromen Law, LLC.