Six Reasons why Estate Planning is Essential for Every family:
- Estate Planning is an important part of FINANCIAL PLANNING.
- A proper Estate Plan includes Health and FINANCIAL DIRECTIVES (POAs) for those unable to make effective financial decisions.
- Estate Planning includes Nominations for GUARDIANSHIP of MINOR CHILDREN in the event parents meet an early and untimely death.
- TESTAMENTARY PROVISIONS allow parents to dictate how minor children will be taken care of financially.
- Estate Planning provides for the distribution of an estate according to one’s will rather than allowing the government to make this decision.
- Finally, Estate Planning provides PEACE OF MIND.
Six Reasons why Estate Planning is often ignored:
- Lack of Understanding why Estate Planning is essential for all families.
- Inconvenience due to children, careers, and other family responsibilities.
- Cost of working with an attorney.
- Belief that a Lack of Financial Assets makes Estate Planning unnecessary.
- Feelings of Invulnerability, believing that we will live forever.
- Superstitious Belief that completing Estate Planning will lead to early death.
Explanations why Estate Planning is Essential
Estate Planning is Financial Planning
Acquiring financial assets is not easy. There are sacrifices every step of the way as we become educated, gain experience, work long hours, and delay purchasing what we want in order to save for the future. Estate planning allows us to protect what we have worked so hard for. If we become incapacitated (i.e. we are no longer able to think clearly or make sound decisions) we will need someone who can step into our shoes and, with the legal authority of a Financial or Durable Power of Attorney, make critical financial decisions regarding our assets until we can once again make those decisions. Additionally, as we will all someday pass away, estate planning provides opportunities to determine where our estate will go and who will benefit from a lifetime of hard work.
Health and Financial Directives
Health Directives: If you are no longer able to choose health professionals, treatments, care facilities, etc., who will make these important health care decisions for you? Essential Planning allows you to appoint trusted individuals who will step in to make sure your health needs are appropriately considered when you are most in need.
Financial Directives: Who will step in to manage your finances (bank accounts, taxes, investments, businesses, properties, etc.) if you are no longer able to make such decisions yourself? Essential Planning allows you to appoint those you trust to make these difficult decisions until you are once again able to do so yourself.
Nominations of Guardianship of Minor Children
Who will raise your most treasured asset, your children, if you are no longer there? Although the court will ultimately make this decision based on “the best interest of the child”, your input is essential. Only you are intimately familiar with your child’s likes and dislikes, their personality, and their needs. Essential Planning allows you to nominate those you believe will provide your child the greatest opportunity for happy and fulfilled lives.
Testamentary provisions can be a crucial element of estate planning. Giving a substantial inheritance to young beneficiaries may be unwise. The inheritance may be spent quickly and foolishly. Testamentary provisions allow for discretionary disbursement of assets by one who is more knowledgeable than the beneficiary may be. Testamentary provisions may also protect assets for those receiving government assistance or who may have judgments pending against them.
Distribution of Assets
Upon your passing, how will your assets be distributed? The State has a distribution plan in place if you die intestate (without a Will or Trust). However, this plan may be very different than what you intend. Legacy Planning allows you to distribute your estate in the manner you choose.
Peace of Mind
Essential estate planning provides peace of mind. There is no guarantee that we will live to see our children grow old. But, if we have prepared for the “what ifs”, we can have the peace of mind knowing that our children and other beneficiaries will still be provided for. We may not always be available, but our influence may be. What else can be more comforting than to know our families are protected and provided for?
Explanations for Why we ignore Estate Planning
Lack of Understanding
It is often misunderstood how important essential estate planning may be for young families…or any family. This lack of understanding can open the door to hardship and frustration for those we love if we are no longer available to protect and provide for them. The Law Office of James J Jones, PLLC provides free consultations to help foster that desired understanding.
Whether due to age, ill health, young children, busy schedules, or any number of issues, finding time to meet with an attorney to discuss and complete essential estate planning may be a problem. The Law Office of James J Jones, PLLC understands that inconvenience prevents families from attaining the needed protections and peace estate planning provides. Therefore, late evening consultations, often after children are sent to bed, and Saturday appointments are available if needed. Home consultations are also available.
Many families simply cannot afford the often high cost of estate planning. The Law Office of James J Jones, PLLC provides essential estate planning at a price any family can afford. Protecting one’s family should not be denied simply because cost is an issue.
Lack of Assets
Estate planning isn’t always about protecting and distributing assets. It also includes making health and financial decisions when one is incapacitated. It allows for the nomination of guardians for minor children in the untimely death of parents, a responsibility that should never be left entirely to the Court’s discretion. And, it provides guidance for the future when financial and other assets are acquired.
Although we may be young, in good health, or simply in denial, we are not invulnerable. The day will come when we will be laid to rest. Unfortunately, that day is not usually known. Estate planning assures that our families will be considered and protected when that day comes.
I don’t have a logical explanation for this. Sorry.
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