Estate planning is a continuous activity, not a one-time event. You probably already know how vital it is to make an estate plan, but you might not realize how crucial it is to keep that plan up to date. If you want your plan to succeed and keep your family out of court and out of conflict, you need to update it immediately in response to frequent life occurrences. No matter who you are, your life will change: families change, assets change, laws change, and ambitions change. This article will o
While a will is a necessary part of most estate plans, your will is typically a very small part of a comprehensive estate plan. A will alone cannot guarantee that your family will not go to court if you become incapacitated or when you die. If you want to learn why? Here are the things you should not expect your will to accomplish!
One of the most difficult things to do is think about the possibility we may die unexpectedly or too early, leaving our children without one of the most important people in their lives. That's why protecting your children in any way possible, including legally, would be at the top of your priority. Create a legal plan to protect your children if something happens to you. This is one of the best Father's Day gifts you can give yourself and the people you love.
If you are a mom or dad with children under the age of 18 at home, your number-one estate planning priority should be selecting and legally documenting both long and short-term guardians for your kids. Guardians are the people legally named to care for your children in the event something happens to you. And if you've named guardians for your children in your will - even with the help of another lawyer - your kids could still be at risk of being taken into the care of strangers!
It's easy to prioritize other business matters over estate planning when you're running a business. But, in reality, one of your most pressing responsibilities is to consider what would happen to your business if you became incapacitated or died. Although estate planning and business planning may be two distinct tasks, they're inevitably linked. And, because your company is likely your family's most valuable asset, estate planning is critical not only for your company, but also for your family.
As we head into the third year of the pandemic, we realize how fragile our lives and health are. If you haven't gotten sick, you certainly know someone who has died in the past two years. Yet even if you avoid getting sick right now, the fact remains that we're all vulnerable to severe illness or injury. And if you're a parent, the most frightening aspect is knowing that if something happens to you, your children would be left without you to care for them, whether temporarily or permanently.
Most people immediately think of taking legal steps to ensure the right people inherit their stuff when they die. Although that thought is not wrong, it also highlights the importance of planning for life. Planning that’s focused solely on who gets what when you die is ignoring that death isn’t the only thing you must prepare for. Consider that at some point before your eventual death, you could be incapacitated, which can drag out over many years, leaving you and your family in agonizing limbo.
The pandemic has caused Americans to change their behavior in different ways, and one of the most positive of these changes is related to estate planning. While many people said that the pandemic inspired them to see a greater need for creating an estate plan, others still don't think that estate planning is important. But as we've outlined here, not having an estate plan can be traumatic and costly for both you and your loved ones, who will be forced to deal with the mess you've left behind.
A comprehensive estate plan can protect what matters most to you. This means everything you own and everyone you love - your children. Take a few minutes to consider right now: if both you and your child's other parent were to become incapacitated or die right now, who would step forward to care for your child? Many parents struggle with including such provisions as naming a legal guardian for their children in their plan. If you're ready to take that step, start by sitting down with us.
Although Britney's story is certainly tragic and we can't be sure how it will ultimately play out, her case has at least shined a spotlight the possible pitfalls within the conservatorship and inspires you to make certain that you and your loved ones have the proper estate planning strategies in place to prevent the loss of autonomy, family conflict, and potential abuse that comes with court-ordered conservatorships and guardianships.