Studies show that 75% of us do not even have a current Will, let alone the needed legal planning in the event we become sick and our loved ones are unable to authorize medical treatment for us. Nor do we have the proper legal planning in place for loved ones and friends to ask medical providers what our condition is or to take us off the dreaded ventilator in the event we are terminal and incurable or brain dead with no chance of recovery.
These are all very difficult situations in our lives that most of us do not want to face at all. We act like it will never happen. If we don’t do good legal planning ahead of time, we are setting up a worse case scenario in which our loved ones will not be able to help take care of us when it is needed.
In the event we do not have a properly set up Estate Plan that includes planning for the event that we may become unconscious and need medical treatment or become mentally incapacitated, then we are forcing our loved ones to have to go through the Court System for a Guardianship or Incompetency Court trial. This can include filing a lawsuit notifying any and all family members and listing all of your assets. Then it becomes a case where we have to grind through the Court System seeking to have the Court find that we are unable to make decisions ourselves and the Court authorizing medical treatment. This can be slow and expensive.
If we do not have a properly designed legal Will or Living Trust in place at the time we pass on, our assets will move by State Statute. The State Statute does not care about your relationships and moves the assets the way the State wants. My experience is that most of the time this is not what the client wants. If you do not have a proper Will in place (this includes a Will that is not valid because possibly it is homemade or found on-line) or a valid Living Trust (possibly invalid for the same reasons), then your assets are moved by State Statute.
Tough times are ahead. Not just economically. At some point in time, we will get sick, we may be unconscious at the time we are sick, we may become mentally incapacitated, and we will die. These are not things we can get around. At least some of the inevitable and will happen. It is only a matter of when.
Do have proper and valid Estate Planning in place and prepared by a well qualified Estate Planning Attorney. Only an attorney can practice law and do the needed legal work. Use an attorney that limits their practice to Estate Planning. It is best to use one that has a Formal Update Program that keeps your Estate Plan current as the law changes, your relationships change, and as what you own changes.
At the Law Firm of Steven Andrew Jackson, Attorney and Counsellor at Law, we have helped hundreds of families protect themselves and their loved ones, avoid Estate Taxes and Probate Costs, and keep their Estate Plans current with the law through The Customized Protective Estate Planning Solution™.Tags: estate planning, families, Health Care Designations, Living Trust, Mental Disability, planning, trust, will