One of the most common scenarios are families that wait too long. They wait to do planning until they have reached a stage of crisis. Estate planning attorney, Randy C. Bryan says, "We prefer to do planning in advance, but we are experts at crisis planning." This is a result of human nature - putting off until tomorrow the things that need to be done today.
Thinking about disability and mortality are not fun. It would be nice to believe that nothing bad is ever going to happen to you or to one of your family members. The reality is, bad things do happen to really good people. Your best defense is a well-conceived estate plan, co-created with a counselling oriented attorney, that is updated and maintained to capture the four L's.
The four L's are those things that can change - changes in your Life, changes in the Law, changes in your Lawyer's experience and changes in your Legacy. As the commercial says, "Life happens fast." So true and the best reason to act today.
Here's a typical situation - a family meets with their estate planning attorney. The mom and dad are in their 90's. The only planning they have ever done was a will purchased from an office supply store and cobbled together with pieces of paper containing notes, items that had been marked out and pages that were missing - about 15 years old. Anything amiss here?
One glaring deficit is the fact there is no disability planning. There is no one empowered to make decisions on behalf of mom and dad in the event of mental deterioration or a health crisis - all very likely for people in their 90's.
The youngest daughter was providing full time care for her parents but was starting to feel the stress and strain of 24 hour care giving. At some point it may be necessary for mom and dad to receive nursing home care. If this becomes a reality, their new estate plan will be an essential part of the action plan - providing their loved ones with the authority necessary to provide the assistance they will need.
And, in the event of death, an updated, properly drafted and properly executed Last Will can assist the family through the estate administration process.
Don't wait. The only thing certain in life is change.