1. You Will Make it Clear.
A good estate plan clarifies your wishes and values.
If you are temporarily or permanently disabled, who should be in charge of medical decisions about you? What types of decisions should they make? And who should be in charge of your finances? How should they use your money? Should they give to your church? Should they take care of another family member?
When you pass away, what then?
Many people think their family members will "just know" what to do or should be able to "figure it out." I can tell you from many experiences of dealing with families whose loved ones are disabled or have passed away without planning, a lack of clarity creates a sense of anxiety, tension, and possible guilt that is completely unnecessary.
2. You Will Make it Official.
A good estate plan ensures your wishes can actually be accomplished.
It's one thing to make your wishes known, but it's quite another to make them enforceable. If you want your son or daughter, your brother or sister, or your best friend to make medical decisions for you, have you ensured that they have the necessary authority to make those decisions, to discuss your condition with your doctors, or to deal with your insurance company? If you want to leave assets to a stepchild or to disinherit a relative or to keep assets from passing to in-laws, have you ensured that these wishes will be implemented and avoid conflict?
It's not enough to tell your family how you want things to work while you're sitting around the dining room table. You need to make sure they can carry out your wishes.
3. You Will Make it Easy.
A good estate plan makes enforcing your wishes as simple and inexpensive as possible.
If you become disabled and when you pass away, what administrative hurdles - attorney fees, court costs, creditors, etc. - will your family have to deal with? Will you require a guardianship if you are disabled, or a probate when you die? Do you know for sure?
These processes can take months and cost thousands to complete. That's time and money that can be protected if you plan ahead. That's stress and conflict you can help your family avoid.
4. You Will Make it a Priority.
You know how easy it is to put this off. If you're like most people, this is something you've been saying you need to do for years.
Why not now? It's the beginning of a new year, and you know you need to take care of this.
It doesn't cost anything to talk about it. Call us at (918) 770-8940 to set up an appointment for a detailed discussion about your family, your assets, your fears, your values, and how we can bring it all together.
This is the year you get this done.