Watch Our Nursing Home Masterclass
estate planning and elder law

Don’t Wait for Surgery or Health Crisis to Create an Estate Plan

Don't Wait for Surgery or Health Crisis to Create an Estate Plan
Create an estate plan before a health crisis to ensure that your wishes are respected and reduce stress for your loved ones.

Estate planning is essential for everyone, regardless of age or health status. Good estate planning protects your wishes, assets, and your loved ones. However, many don’t start thinking about estate planning until their health is failing or are in a crisis. This tends to bring stress, complications and other problems that are avoidable with proactive estate planning. Beck, Lenox and Stolzer Estate Planning and Elder Law, LLC, offers timely advice as to why you don’t wait for surgery or health crisis to create an estate plan.

What are the Risks of Delaying Estate Planning?

Many people delay estate planning until they face a serious health issue. Without a plan, you might lose control over your assets, healthcare and even your children. Your loved ones may also face legal battles in probate. Many families have suffered avoidable financial hardship because the courts held up a deceased loved one’s assets.

Estate planning isn’t just for your loved ones. If you cannot care for yourself, the courts must appoint someone to make your financial and health decisions. Laying out a power of attorney, medical proxy and other documents can keep you in control.

Common Barriers to Estate Planning

Even those who understand the importance of estate planning often procrastinate. According to a study by, the main reasons include:

  • Lack of assets: People believe they don’t have enough assets to leave behind.
  • Complicated process: Individuals fear the process is too complicated and don’t know where to start.
  • No beneficiaries: They don’t have someone to whom to leave assets.
  • Other priorities: More pressing issues need to be addressed.

When to Start Estate Planning?

According to ElderLawAnswers, you should begin estate planning when you turn 18. Even young adults can benefit from having basic documents, like a will and a healthcare proxy. The sooner you start, the more prepared you’ll be for unexpected events.

What are the Essential Estate Planning Documents?

Before you can start estate planning, you’ll need a few estate planning documents. These include:

  • Will: A will specifies who will inherit your assets and who will be the guardian of your minor children.
  • Power of Attorney: This document allows you to designate someone to make financial decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
  • Healthcare Proxy/Power of Attorney for Healthcare: A healthcare proxy lets you appoint someone to make medical decisions if you cannot.
  • Living Will: A living will outlines your wishes regarding medical treatment and end-of-life care. Note: Beck, Lenox & Stolzer incorporates living wills into our Power of Attorney for Healthcare.

Don’t Wait for Surgery or Health Crisis to Create an Estate Plan

Estate planning is a crucial step to protect your future peace of mind. Don’t wait for a health crisis to start planning; start today. Contact Beck, Lenox & Stolzer and schedule a consultation with our estate planning attorneys to develop a custom plan. Here’s a link to our  phone consultation schedule.

Key Takeaways on Getting Your Estate Planning Done

  • Ensures Control: You maintain control over your assets, healthcare decisions and guardianship of minor children.
  • Reduces Stress: Proper planning prevents unnecessary stress and legal battles for your loved ones.
  • Protects Assets: An estate plan safeguards your assets from legal complications and unnecessary taxes.
  • Provides Peace of Mind: Knowing your wishes are documented and will be respected provides peace of mind for you and your family.

References: Caring (2024) “2024 Wills and Estate Planning Study –” and ElderLawAnswers (April 5th, 2023) “Don’t Wait Until You’re Sick to Create an Estate Plan

Subscribe to Our Free Monthly E-Newsletter & Blog Digest!

Recent Posts

Need to Email Us?

If we are currently working with you or your family member, please DO NOT use this email as it may take longer to route your inquiry to the specific person working on your file. Instead, please call our office at (636) 946-7899 so we may better serve you

For all other inquiries: