Last week I went to an estate planning conference where one of the keynote speakers specialized in grief management counselling. I think it is a brilliant idea to have this type of speaker talk to estate planning attorneys. Most attorneys do not understand how to relate to a grieving widow who is the going through the most difficult time in her life. These type of counselling issues are not addressed in law schools. However, you will find many courses on probate and tax adminstration of estates.
Do most attorneys have any idea what a widow is going through emotionally during and after the funeral? I believe an attorney must ask himself/herself how they can truly provide support to the family during traumatic events such as disablilty and/death. I think these are the real issues that attorneys should be focusing on in addition to the “default” estate administration issues. I put the word “default” in quotes because I feel that estate settlement issues are poorly addressed with most clients; and families have no idea what steps are involved when a loved one becomes disabled or passes away. I will speak more of this issue in my next post.