“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” No truer words have been spoken about proper estate planning. An unfortunate fact of life is that oftentimes, we purposely refuse to think about death; however taking some simple steps for proper estate planning can allow your loved ones to focus on the emotional aspects of losing a loved one instead of making them deal with the frustration and chaos of an unprepared estate.
The foundation to proper estate planning for many people is a traditional will. However, there are other estate planning instruments available, such as a trust, which may better fit your needs. It is important that you speak candidly with an estate attorney about your goals to make a proper determination of what steps to take.
Thorough estate planning also involves proper preparation for times when our loves ones may be incapacitated before they pass away. A properly prepared power of attorney for finances and an advanced health care directive (living will) can allow others to assist our loved ones in their time of need. One of the requirements for signing these documents is that the person granting the powers must be aware of and understand the documents they are signing. All too often, a person or their concerned family members don’t address these topics before their loved one is already unable to care for themselves anymore due to dementia or some other significant health condition. Unfortunately, in these circumstances, a solution is not so simple at the point when their loved one does not have mental capacity to sign these simple documents and the only remaining option may be to file a guardianship case in the probate court, which takes substantially longer to obtain at a much higher financial expense and significant emotional turmoil.
If you are ready to take steps to properly plan for your future and beyond, call today to schedule a consultation.