Joseph Kellogg Discusses Estate Planning During the Pandemic with The New York Times

As the COVID-19 pandemic causes older adults to face mortality, many are using this time to revisit their estate plans. Unfortunately, this task is often postponed time after time because of complicated and hard-to-follow estate planning documents that can leave many feeling helpless and overwhelmed. Thankfully, there are ways to make this process less daunting and more comfortable for all those involved.

The New York Times recently spoke with Joseph Kellogg, partner and wealth planning executive at WE Family Offices, for insights on how the firm simplifies estate planning documents for their affluent clients during this stressful time.

“Our process is we summarize it, we visualize it, and we talk through it,” he explains.

One specific step WE takes is color-coding their documents, which helps make important points stand out. “If we spot it, we make sure families spot it too,” says Kellogg.

For example, with investments, highlighting specific areas can draw a client’s attention to who will be responsible for making investment distribution decisions for their estate. “Oftentimes, the person connected with the succession planning of the investments is not the person they thought it was,” Kellogg explains. “If there is a trustee, they want to make sure it’ the right person.”

However, it is important to go beyond merely transforming estate planning documents into pretty pictures. Clients also need to know what to look form and ensure that the right individuals are in charge of their assets, their health care and their children awaiting an inheritance.

To read the entire article in The New York Times, click here.