I recall a few years ago when a client passed away. His assets were not insignificant. His passing was sudden, and left serious issues affecting his family and his estate.
His health had begun to deteriorate, but he thought there was still time. Nevertheless, he was concerned how his money would be used after his passing. As it turned out, there was reason for his concern.
He wanted to use his money to assist his spouse. However, he also felt it better that someone else control how the money would be used for her benefit. This is not an unusual concern when a spouse is dealing with dementia or some of the mental frailties of age.
Unfortunately, he passed before actually addressing his concerns. As a result, he lost the chance to ensure how his assets would be used and who would benefit. Instead, the State of Idaho dictated what would happen to his assets even though that result was different than the wishes he had expressed. This story is all too common.
Telling your wishes to someone, even your family, does not mean those wishes will or can be followed if you have taken no other steps to create an estate plan. On the other hand, a few simple steps can ensure your wishes will be carried out.
As the saying goes, “change is the only constant.” For many of us, those changes can be very difficult. Our health diminishes, or we lose a loved one. Our children’s circumstances may also change dramatically. Life is not convenient enough to give us the advance warning we may want.
While we cannot predict the future, there are simple steps we can take to prepare for it. Peace of mind comes if you “plan while you can.” Come to a free, no obligation presentation and learn for yourself how simple it can be to ensure you have an estate plan that accomplishes your wishes, even if life suddenly changes for you or your loved ones.