The Hollywood notion that the complex and intricate details of estate planning can be undermined in one sweep of a dying signature show just how little understanding of estate planning people have. In fact the only way your wishes would be undermined is if you didn’t plan for your inevitable death.
Many people think estate planning is what elderly people do. The inevitable is more of a truth in ones mind as our body ails. Even, shockingly, many people with young dependents don’t estate plan, usually with the logic that they don’t have any assets to leave. However, if you have less coin to play with isn’t that even more reason to ensure your loved ones get every last dime you can leave?
When discussing young dependents too, it’s not just a case of worrying about money but who will care for them and the assets you leave? Saying in the shower to your husband one thoughtful morning that your middle sister would always have the kids will not be noted by a judge in front of four grieving relatives all wanting to ‘do their best’ for your little ones. Or prevent, say, your father presented as a perfect guardian before a judge with wealth or status when you actually experienced a degraded relationship with him personally. Even if the judge does, by some luck, agree with your silent wishes, would you want a sister you loved to be judged and questioned on how they use the money you left to benefit the child? Clothing cost money, vacations, birthday presents! You may understand your sister would need to build another room for your three ADHD kids but others may accuse her of spending their inheritance on home improvements! As a loving sibling why would you not want to express why you trust them with your children and inheritance? Also have you even considered as much as your sister loves your children – she may not actually want the honor of being their legal guardian – do you have a backup?
The questions when you open the door, do start to flood in – Do you live abroad from dependents or would be guardians? Do you have debt? Do you have assets? What are they? Do you have assets in various states or abroad? Do you have financial commitments you would wish to uphold – like private school? Is your spouse a dependent? If you are a blended family how will you plan your estate? If you are gay – are you uncertain with all the current ambiguity of state laws and how they effect your estate?
It’s probable that all these questions are the very reason people mentally shut down and refuse to plan their estate in the first place. It’s so overwhelming that they prefer to leave their assets in disarray but no one really wants to leave loved ones to pick up the pieces. The irony is that it’s not that complex. The myriad of laws and benefits you may or may not be aware are there to protect your assets.
With the help of an estate planning attorney at Norton Hammersley the questions you had will be answered and more importantly the questions you didn’t know you should ask will be answered. We will make the process of estate planning painless and straightforward. Our estate planning attorneys will ensure your affairs are in order so that in the event of your death your loved ones will be comforted with your last act of love and consideration.
Norton Hammersley’s estate planning, estate administration and asset-preservation practice assists individuals in pre-death planning for the distribution of assets prior to and at death. We assist personal representatives and trustees in carrying out their duties to creditors and beneficiaries. If you wish to book an appointment to discuss your estate planning requirements then please call us now on 941.954.4691