Every month I try to find a subject about estate planning to clarify and share my insights. After years of writing, it gets a bit harder each month to think of something new. Normally, questions throughout the prior month and weeks give me something to write about. However, this month, there really hasn’t been one subject that’s stood out to me. If anything, it’s been more of a question of why plan at all?
Of course, there are a lot of good reasons, but unfortunately, I’ve been reminded recently that the best reason is you never know. You just never know when you won’t be able to make that plan. Even as I write this, I am waiting for a family member to let me know if I need to rush to the hospital tomorrow for a friend.
I’ve seen children who’ve lost their parents, a wives who’ve lost their husbands, siblings who’ve lost their sisters. No matter the circumstances, the situation is never easy. I’m hopefully that I can help make that hard time a bit easier, but even easier is not having to worry about the law when you’re already mourning or taking care of a loved one. If there’s an emergency, you don’t want to have to find an attorney, you want to be able to act.
You want the right people making decisions. Without the proper documents in place, the court is likely going to choose who can make decisions for you… if anyone does. I’ve gotten many phone calls about someone who is no longer really aware of their surrounds and a loved one wants a power of attorney. At that point, the person can no longer sign a power of attorney and the court must appoint someone. Unfortunately, this is not an easy nor inexpensive process. Often times, the cost prevents a person from going to court and no one is then able to make decisions.
No matter your reason or reasons, the need to make a plan is an important one and shouldn’t wait until the plan isn’t yours to make.