Delaying your estate planning could have severe consequences for your loved ones and for the life you’ve worked hard to build. A proper estate plan takes time to create and finalize. So waiting until it’s too late could be devastating to you and your family. In some instances if you wait until you have no choice, it may be too late. Planning for the end of your life isn’t an easy topic to think about or discuss, but taking the time to plan and communicate your wishes to your loved ones will only provide comfort during a trying time.
Why You Shouldn’t Plan from Your Deathbed
A proper estate plan takes time to create. Through the process you’ll need to have a good understanding of your financial situation, your family dynamics, and your own wishes for your family and assets. These are all important factors that you should take time to think about. Understanding your financial situation will help to plan for the best tax strategies to make sure your loved ones are receiving what you’ve worked for instead of huge tax bills. This type of planning takes time, especially when you are creating a trust in which your assets need to be named to. The process of retitling your assets takes time and if you aren’t able to finish this, then your loved ones may miss out on what you intended to leave them.
Your family dynamics should be considered in your estate planning. If you are running out of time and emotions are already high, then trying to make these decisions may be impossible. During a tense time, the conversations about “who gets what” may unintentionally cause rifts between loved ones who are already going through an emotional time. These rifts could lead to future family issues even after you’re gone. Think about your own emotions as well. If you are near death, you most likely are not in the right state of mind to be making decisions and you may just not want to bother.
When Last Minute Planning Becomes Your Only Option
If last minute planning does become your only option, then at least having a will is better than having nothing at all. Having a will still sends your family through the probate process, but they would at least have your expressed wishes as a guide. Have an attorney who will be able to help your family through the process and avoid probate battles.
At this point in your life, focusing on what matters is important. Letting your loved ones focus on the time they have left should take priority over spending time divvying up assets. So while it isn’t easy to think about the end of our lives, the best thing we can do is have a plan for our loved ones to make their time of grief as easy as possible, while protecting the life that you’ve worked hard to build.
If you need an estate plan or need to make updates to an existing plan, please contact us. We are here to help!
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Disclaimer: This article is intended to serve as a general summary of the issues outlined therein. While this article may include general guidance, it is not intended as, nor is a substitute for, qualified legal advice. Your review or receipt of this article by Lexern Law Offices, Ltd. (the “LLG”) or any of its attorneys does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the LLG. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors of the article and does not reflect the opinion of the LLG.