Not Estate Planning is a detriment to you and your family!
I've been doing a lot of Estate Plan reviews lately. Seeing what happens when clients leave my office is always interesting. Seeing what happens after individuals have left our free seminars is equally as enlightening as it is frustrating. So what are the common pitfalls that people run into? We'll be discussing them one at a time.
The most common pitfall is people who do not plan. No Last Will & Testament, No Powers of Attorney, no long-term-care preparation, just nothing.
This is not only frustrating to me, as the Estate Planning attorney. But it's equally frustrating, if not more so, to the family that is left to administer your estate. I hear so often, "I know I need to do something, I'm just not sure I've decided what I want to do," or "I haven't had the time," or "It's too expensive," and the most common, "I don't have much, so what do I need to plan for?"
Estate Planning covers more than what happens to the money you are leaving (or not leaving) behind for your family. Who makes medical decisions for you if you are in an accident? And the most common misconception is that the spouse can make the decisions without issue. That is not always the case. And more importantly, what happens if your spouse is not there, or was in the accident with you? Not preparing for that can lead to some great expense and time spent with your local county court and adult protective services agents. So to, what if the problem you face is not physically related, what if it is mentally related. Alzheimers, Dementia, and Parkinsons are becoming all to common amongst seniors today. So be prepared for the possibilities. Powers of Attorney are necessary for everyone! Better to have it and not need it, then not have it in a time of need!
Where will your assets go? Whether youhave only one bank account with a few hundred dollars in it, or several with a financial planner and investments, you need to establish how your assets are going to be divided, and to whom. Meeting with us as estate planners, allows us to guide you to the perfect plan for you. There are many new estate plan techniques that don't always involve a trust or a will. But to know and understand them, and more importantly to utilize them, you have to come see us. We at Crenshaw Peterson pride ourselves on giving our clients tailored plans. We don't stick everyone in the same templated generic estate plan. We want to give you something that works for YOU! No two people have the exact same life situation and asset levels, so we're not going to give them the same estate plan.
Finally we need to discuss long-term care potential. The longer we live, the longer we have expenses, and the potential for in home care or nursing home care becomes more likely. Many of our seniors have saved over their life times and they want to be able to leave a legacy to thier children, big or small. In order to preserve the assets, your family, powers of attorney, and agents all need to have the powers to do what is necessary, and your property needs to be titled, and addressed in a way that protects it from long-term care needs. Without the proper planning, it is a certainty that your estate will be dwindled down. At an aproximate cost of $7500 a month in a nursing home, your estate will be depleted quickly without the proper planning. And if you have a spouse at home, what do they have left to live on?
So come see us! It all starts with a conversation. We ask a lot of questions to get you thinking, and we provide a lot of answers to guide you to making those decisions that are so tough to decide. Give the reassurance to your family, prepare for your future! Mention this blog article, and the consult is free.