If you participated in Halloween activities when you were a child, you probably still love it to this day. Halloween is one holiday that often brings out the kid in all of us. Whether you’re going trick or treating with your grandchildren, decorating creepy cupcakes for a family gathering or making a big entrance at a costume party, Halloween is time for fun. What’s not so much fun? Heading into Halloween without taking care of your estate plan. Beck & Lenox Estate Planning and Elder Law needs to share some scary estate planning stories for you to avoid.
Estate Plan- Yes or No?
If you haven’t reviewed your estate plan in the last three to five years, make an appointment to see your estate planning attorney. There have been many recent changes regarding estate taxes and retirement accounts. Your estate plan may not achieve your desired goals, or you may be missing out on planning opportunities to save significantly on estate taxes.
If you don’t have an estate plan, that’s scarier than a group of seven year old kids in zombie costumes! You need to have a Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney, Healthcare Power of Attorney, Living Will and perhaps some trusts, depending upon the size and complexity of your assets.
Lacking these important legal documents, your family will face several scary scenarios:
- If you become incapacitated and there’s no Healthcare Power of Attorney, healthcare professionals may not be willing to discuss your medical history, treatment, or outcomes with your family.
- If you are incapacitated and have not completed a Power of Attorney for Finances, your spouse may not be able to access any assets that are in your name only. If bills need to be paid and only you are on the account, your spouse will have to battle with the utility companies, credit card companies, etc.
- If you don’t have a Living Will and are near death, your family may have no idea what you may have wanted. Do you want to be kept alive by artificial means, or would you prefer to die? Families can be scarred for life when they have to make a decision and don’t know what you would have wanted. The guilt and arguments can easily be alleviated, but only if you take action.
- What if you don’t have a will? Your assets will be distributed according to the law of your state of residence. If you’re married, your spouse will receive a certain percentage of your assets but may not receive everything. If you have troubled relationships with children, or your children aren’t able to handle money without burning through it, there won’t be any way to prevent them from losing a lifetime of savings.
Action To Take
The horror stories resulting from no planning, or an outdated estate plan, should scare you into action. These horrors are all too real, but there’s an easy fix. Make an appointment with an estate planning attorney like the ones at Beck & Lenox. Enjoy the peace of mind that comes with an estate plan. You can get this done and go trick or treating with the little zombies and princesses!
For more information, contact us at Free Attorney Call or Consultation.