Many people wait until something bad happens before they think about doing any type of estate planning. Hopefully nothing bad has happened to a member of your immediate family. But even if you or your parent has fallen and broken a hip, has suffered a mild stroke or has suffered some other decline in health, it may not be too late to do some meaningful planning.
Don’t Wait To Plan For Yourself And Your Family
It is critically important to get your estate planning “ ducks in a row” while you have the opportunity to do so. Many people’s estate plans are limited. They may only have a Will which nominates an Executor and designates who will receive their assets at death. The Executor will then submit their Will to Probate and will be responsible for complying with the Court’s directives during the Probate process and then distributing assets pursuant to the directives contained in the Will and the Court’s Order.
Having your assets distributed the way you want is obviously important. You want to make sure that what you’ve worked a lifetime to accumulate will actually be distributed to the beneficiaries named in your estate planning documents. Many people will also choose to take the additional step of creating a Revocable Living Trust while they are alive and competent, so that those they leave behind do not have have the expense and hassle associated with a Probate proceeding.
While passing assets down to your family without the necessity of Probate is important, it is also very important to authorize certain individuals to make decisions for you should you become incapacitated before you die. Over the many years that we have practiced Estate Planning and Elder Law, we have witnessed many who were incapacitated to the point where the couldn’t make their own decisions for some period of time before dying. It is critical to have a plan in place to appoint certain individuals who will make financial and healthcare decisions for you during these this time that you cannot make decisions for yourself.
If you are looking to “get your estate planning ducks in a row”, contact our office to set a time for a strategy session to determine what planning options you may have to pass assets to your Loved Ones without Probate and to designate the ones you want to make decisions for you when you can no longer make decisions for yourself.