On January 2, 2014

2014 is here and many people are setting their goals, resolutions and to do lists for the year. For some the standard things are topping their list: weight loss, better job, and more time with the family are a few of the ones we hear the most. Perhaps you should consider a goal that will benefit your loved ones the most. Getting your Estate Planning done is something that you don’t see the fruits of. The people you love and trust the most will be the ones who benefit the most.

Each month we get between 20 and 30 calls from people who have lost a loved one or are having to deal with capacity issues of a loved one. Sometimes there are documents in place and we can help administer things relatively easily. Other times there is nothing and we have to scramble to do things through the court system and help work out issues amongst the various family members.

A recent caller had been dealing with aging parents and one was declining faster than the other. By the time we got called for help the one parent no longer had capacity to execute the documents they needed and the other parent was heading down the same road. The only option left to them was the most expensive and time consuming one. Many people incorrectly think that they can wait until they need the documents to get them. It helps to think of Estate Planning documents as insurance. While we will likely not need all of the basic documents, but just which ones we will need and when is hard to know. It is so much cheaper and easier to have a plan in place that addresses the best case scenario and the worst case. Having to use the courts consumes more time and money.

Many young people think that they have lots of time to get this done. Hopefully they have many years to put their plan into place, but we find that having some basic disaster planning done while you are young can be highly cost effective. A recent client in their late 20’s who travels for business frequently had us put together just our basic package for $250 that so his family could handle a disaster if it occurs. Would you rather have your parents or loved ones be able to handle these issues with relative ease or have them struggle to get the legal right to help you. Start with the basics now and build upon them as you grow and your needs change. Your Estate Plan is not a static thing. As your life changes you need to update your plan

Categories: Estate Planning

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