When Mike Darrow and Kathy Wedemeyer started the estate planning process, they didn’t have themselves in mind. They were thinking of their children.

As they started their blended family, Kathy and Mike quickly realized that estate planning needed to be a part of the conversation. They weren’t just making decisions about furniture and decorations when they combined their households; there were children and pets involved, too.

“We were combining incomes and looking at long-term relationship goals. It was about collaboration as a couple,” Mike says of their decision to work with Schromen Law. “How do we support each other, God forbid, when that time happens, but also, how do we protect the kids?”

Kathy had personal experience with this exact situation. Her dad remarried after the death of her mom and completed strategic estate plans that protected their families. “I didn’t like it when they were still alive,” Kathy admits, “but in the long run, I liked how it protected both of them.”

That same idea inspired Mike and Kathy as they made their own estate plan. Open communication with their kids was a top priority as well. Kathy’s kids are grown, so Mike sat down with them and his own teenage daughter to discuss their motivation for completing estate planning documents. “I want Kathy’s kids to know they’re being protected in this, just like they’ve always been,” Mike says. “We’re protecting those we love and being transparent with them, too.”

While some of the decisions about what went inside their estate planning documents were difficult, the choice to work with Schromen Law was easy.

Kathy, the community outreach coordinator at Our Lady of Peace Hospice and Home Health Care, knew Rachel from their mutual work in the end-of-life world. “I met Rachel pre-Covid around the time her dad passed away,” Kathy explains. “She was at a meeting and got very vulnerable. I got to see a soft side.”

Initially, Mike wasn’t thrilled with the idea of estate planning. “You don’t get up the morning saying, ‘I can’t wait to put a will together,” Mike says, but with Rachel, “there was a personable approach. She is very knowledgeable, but she explains things in laymen’s terms. You don’t need another attorney to tell you what the attorney is saying.”

That personal approach was carried throughout the process. “It’s a conversation,” Kathy says. “It comes off like you’re having a talk with a friend.”

To those on the fence about estate planning, Mike and Kathy have no hesitation with their advice: Get the process started. “Just make the phone call,” Kathy advises. “Working in hospice, I realize you have a say in every part of your life, down to your death. So, take control of that.”

The material contained herein is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to create or constitute an attorney-client relationship between Schromen Law, LL C and the reader. The information contained herein is not offered as legal advice and should not be construed as legal advice.

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