Got Estate Planning? Don’t Put It Off Any Further. Here’s Why…
There may be a number of reasons people make the decision to put off estate planning and there may be those who never give it much thought at all. Regardless of your age, your current health or your financial status, estate planning is not something you should put off any further. Estate planning should include a will, living will, power of attorney and a health care proxy along with other documents and directives as they may be necessary for your unique situation. Even if you are just starting out and are in perfect health, you have assets and you surely have an idea of what you would like done with those assets in the event that you are not around or if you are incapacitated in any way. If you have children, you most certainly have some idea of who you would want as a guardian and to look after their assets. If you have not taken any steps to legally declare these wishes, then your wishes will simply mean nothing in the eyes of the court. With how hard you have worked to secure the assets you have, not taking the time to legally and adequately secure estate planning services will mean all of those decisions can very well be left to people you may not even know. Your health could also change on a dime and you could simply be in a position where you are unable to make important decisions for yourself. Having estate planning that includes a health care proxy or living will is essential to being prepared for any unexpected health crisis that may arise, regardless of how young you may be at the moment.
Important Decisions to Consider Now Rather Than Later
When you begin the process of estate planning, you should be certain to address these key questions and concerns. You will want to make clear who inherits your assets and be guardian to any minor children or dependents with special needs. You will also want to make clear who will handle your finances if you are too ill to do so and who will make medical decisions on your behalf. Making your wishes known to a spouse, family member or even friends is simply not enough. Even under the best of circumstances, families tend to break down under duress and family dynamics can get even more complicated when decisions are left to those in the midst of loss, emotional turmoil or change. Even if you feel confident in the fact that loved ones know what your final wishes may be, they still may not be legally or financially able to carry out those wishes if you have not secured comprehensive and adequate estate planning. The first and foremost step to ensuring you, your assets and your loved ones are protected is to meet with an estate planning attorney.
Your Business Could Fail With Lack of Estate Planning
Your assets comprise more than just the amount of money you have in the bank, your home and your car. You assets include any investments, retirement accounts, insurance and perhaps your business enterprise. In Massachusetts and throughout the country, a high number of small businesses fail after the founder or owner suddenly passes away. Current estimates state that nearly 47% of businesses collapse because there is either none or inadequate estate planning in place when leadership changes take place unexpectedly, such as due to the death or incapacitation of the owner or founder. Aside from inadequate legal estate planning, businesses fail during this transition because there is often a lack of assets or funds to deal with estate taxes or settle tax debts. Conflicts with family members, even those who may not be involved in the business, can also lead to a breakdown of even the most successful businesses. For those who have done estate planning, it still may not be up to date or it may be flawed, leaving all you have worked for at risk of failure once you are no longer in control. If you own or operate your own business, it is imperative that you start estate planning or review the estate planning documents you have in place.
Help With Final Wishes
If you or your family wishes to either begin the process of estate planning or you want to ensure you have an adequate amount of protection for the future of your children, your assets or your business, contacting the legal team at the Shapiro Law Group, PC is the right course of action. We are able to help both the family member who’s financial and medical wishes need protecting and families who need assistance in the role of executor of a will, trust or proxy. With our compassionate team of experts, we are able to handle the sensitive nature of estate planning while ensuring every legal angle is covered for protection of your assets and for your own peace of mind.
By Anna Shapiro