The word “procrastinate” derives from words meaning “to put off until tomorrow.” We all have so many things we must, or would like to do, today, we have to postpone some other things until a later time. We recommend that our clients view estate planning with a sense of “now” instead of “tomorrow,” and we can cite several instances that confirm our view.
Why Now is the Time to Plan Your Estate
We have recently worked with two separate clients who recognized that they needed estate plans in place before undergoing surgeries. We met with each to determine the objectives each had, and provided them with will, trust, and power of attorney instruments that gave them and their families some peace of mind in times of extraordinary stress.
Just today, a friend mentioned to me that when her sister had died at an adult but relatively young age, she had not gotten around to making a last will and testament. The family experienced considerable difficulty is settling the affairs of their loved one.
One of us had a mentor who was suddenly and unexpectedly incapacitated by a medical condition. Fortunately, the individual had the foresight to set up a complete estate plan for both carrying on day-to-day business through a general durable power of attorney, and for all eventualities if the condition did not improve.
We could mention several such situations to prove that an estate plan is essential for every adult, and that to postpone putting one in place may have unforeseen, negative consequences. Just as we do not know when we will need to call upon insurance we have purchased, we do not know when our estate planning will pay off in making our lives and the lives of our loved ones easier.
The best time to plan your estate is when we are healthy and can make the time to think through such things as who should inherit our property, who can be trusted to be a responsible executor and attorney-in-fact, and what special needs need to be provided for in the plan. Really, the best time for thinking about, and doing something about, an estate plan is NOW!
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