Estate planning has become my favorite part of my practice. You may be thinking, Ugh, I don’t want to think about my death. Push pause on that one. Hit the snooze button.
Well, no. Don’t. The time to get this done is actually now.
Avoid airport panic
First, if you are a mother, I do not want you calling me from the airport because you are flying abroad and freaking out that, wow, for the first time looking at that airplane, you realize your husband and you could die, and you do not have a plan for your kids.
Who will be their guardians and raise them? Who will manage their money? These things are huge. Doing a will at the airport is not good timing.
If you have kids, draft your will now so you can have some say in who raises them. I can get those documents in two weeks, including an hour intake to tailor everything to you, a will signing with our witnesses, and archival and digital copies in hand.
Don’t wait for an emergency to draft your will
Second, if you become sick or have surgery, the last thing you are going to want to do is run in and do your will. But you WILL do it. I know this because I have had many people facing these tragic circumstances come to me for their will and suddenly, this is critical.
They take it seriously and they wish they were spending time with family and friends instead of with me, their estate planning attorney, but it’s too late for that. They need this done because they know it is the responsible thing to do. And they know they have things they want to see happen and this is the only way to make it possible.
Happily, most of these clients are still around. But, sadly, not all of them. I know I helped the families of those who passed away, and I also know I helped the others form a long-term plan for the wealth they are building.
Urge your parents to help you by drafting their wills sooner than later
Third, your parents need to have an estate plan before it is too late because it will fall on you to resolve. Urge your parents to do the right thing and get this done BEFORE they are elderly. Did you know that cognitive impairments can come on suddenly and then it is too late to sign documents? Even a higher risk, as someone’s faculties diminish, they become more and more vulnerable who rush to get them to sign these documents for the wrong reasons. People wanting to exploit. So get this done now so you do not have these problems on your hands.
Estate planning includes powers of attorney, living wills, wills and trusts. They are not as scary as they sound, but also they ARE technical. I have yet to see online versions done right by non-lawyers. This may sound surprising from the person who helps and encourages people to do a lot of the drafting in their divorces, but in my opinion, wills are not something you should ever do without an attorney. I am happy, however, to hop on the phone and give you pointers. Call me at 720-922-3880 for a free consult to get you in the right direction.