Thursday, November 13, 2014

Why You Might NOT Want to Make an Appointment

You Think You Already Have an Estate Plan in Place
If you already have a Will, Trust, Health Care Directives and/or a Power of Attorney in place, you may think you don't need to come in and meet with me about your family's legal planning.
Here's why you would want to come in anyway.

The reality is that estate planning documents by themselves are meaningless to your family if they are not kept up to date throughout your lifetime and if your assets are not owned in the right way to keep your family out of Court.
If there have been any changes in your life, the law or your assets since you put in place those documents and the documents have not been updated, come on in to see me so we can make sure they still meet your family's needs. 
And, if you have minor children at home, there is a very good chance that the documents were not prepared properly in the first place.  Most lawyers do not have the knowledge, training or experience to plan properly for the care of minor children.
Not to worry though ... we'll take care of all of that when you come in.
You Think You Do Not Have Enough Assets
You may be thinking you do not need an estate plan because you don't have an estate. 
And you might be right.  If you do not own your home, do not have life insurance, and do not have any assets in the bank or in brokerage accounts, you still have an estate, BUT you may not need a comprehensive plan to handle things at the end of your life.
But there are a couple of things you still will need to have in place, even if you don't have many assets.
First of all, if you have dependent children at home, you will need to make sure you have a plan in place that addresses their care if anything happens to you.
This plan needs to take into account not just who would raise them in the event of your death, but also who would take care of them in the short term if there was an accident, and how you would want them raised by the people you've chosen as guardians.
Don't worry if that sounds like a lot, we'll make sure you've got it all taken care of when you come in for your planning consultation.
If you do not have dependent children at home, even if you do not have assets you will need to have legal documents in place to ensure that health care decisions and financial decisions can be made for you in the way you want in the event of an accident.
And it is possible you could get those very basic documents in place without a full blown estate plan.
The Family Asset Planning Consultation you have scheduled with us is designed to take an honest look at what you really do need and what you really do not need. If it turns out you don't need any planning at all, you leave the consultation educated, informed and feeling great that you have done the right thing by your family by investigating what's necessary to make things as easy as possible for them at the end of your life.
If it turns out you do need planning, we will work together to determine the right planning for you and your family based on your needs, your budget, and your stage of life. And most importantly, we will make sure that whatever gets put in place will stay up to date and continue to work throughout your lifetime.
You Think You Can't Afford to Plan
The last reason you may not want to keep your appointment is that you may think you cannot afford to plan.
That may or may not be true. But you don't have to worry about that yet because when we meet we are first going to look at whether you need to plan.
If it turns out you do need to plan, we will work together to make it affordable for you and your family.

If you do not need to plan, you leave the meeting feeling great about having done everything you can to make sure things will be as easy as possible for your loved ones if and when something happens to you.
So, rest easy, don't worry about a thing.
I am here to make this whole process of thinking about difficult subjects easier for you and your family.

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