A short animated skit came up on my feed the other day. A person, having a conversation with his brain, is coming up with a plan. At the end of the video, the two say “forget the plan.”
It not only felt true to my life – where I have grand plans for the day and then said plans are derailed by unexpected phone calls and appointments – but also how we all seem to tell ourselves that we are going to put together an estate plan which never comes to be. Discussions are all too quickly forgotten.
October is National Estate Planning Month, and 67% of Americans have no will or trust. Before holiday and winter travel is a great time to revisit or create an estate plan.
Creating an estate plan not only helps alleviate uncertainty for you and your family it also will lead to long-term savings regardless of age or income status.
If you have young children, you need, at a minimum, a designated guardian and a trust with instructions should you encounter unexpected death or disability. Without a type of trust in place, a judge will decide about your child’s care and the distribution of your property, often following expensive legal proceedings. Relatedly, Health Care Directives give family members the ability to step in and assist with your care should you become unable to make educated decisions yourself, and Power of Attorney documents ensure people can step in to make finances in instances of unexpected absence or incapacity.
If you don’t have children at home, an estate plan is still critical to address asset protection, wealth distribution, property management, and healthcare decisions.
What an estate plan includes varies depending on an individual’s needs and circumstances. An estate plan can be completed in one meeting or in just a few weeks’ time depending on the necessary complexity.
If you have an estate plan, but your life circumstances have changed (marriage, divorce, beneficiary/executor death), it's also a good idea to update your estate plan.
If you’d like to discuss estate planning, now is the time. We can have it all tied up long before the holiday rush. Give me a call today, and let’s ensure your family is taken care of no matter what the future holds.