...And Maybe You're Tired of the “Top 10” Too
So, let’s take a break from that — but we still have to pay attention to the things that Matter Most in our lives — Personal, Family, and Financial Wellness.
Here is my list — based on what I’m seeing and hearing around me, and what my clients are saying is important to them.
Many of my clients would like to think that their estate planning is a “checked off the list project,” but for must, it is a process that parellels the changes in law, life and age. Planning, like your life, is in a constant state of change — it evolves. Even though my clients are encouraged to meet with me every year or two (often for no charge) to review their Wills, Trusts, Medical Directives, and Power of Attorney arrangments, they often never call until there’s a crisis in the family.
For example, a man called a few days ago. We last met 10 years ago. Since then, his wife has been stricken with dementia and alzheimers, and there are some signficiant consequences that affect their family and family finances. To some degree, it’s now too late for me to help; fortunately, there are some things I can help them fix, but it would have been much better if they would have contacted me when she first started showing signs of confusion and memory loss — not after she had been diagnosed with advanced alzheimers and committed to a nursing home.
Here are some things we could and should have talked about many years ago — some of these may apply to you as well:
- Tax laws have changed significantly since 2012 and even since 2015. This may open a door for the implification of your trust and estate plan.
- Divorce is another change that sometimes “changes everything.” More than 50 perecent of first marriages, up to 70 percent of second marriages and an nearly 85 percent of third marriages end in divorce. Asset protection (including marriage and divorce protection) probably ought to be on your radar.
- Have you designated who should be the legal guardian for your minor children (if you die) — or your legal guardian if you become mentally incapacitated? I have been involved in some cases this year where advance planning would have saved tens of thousands of dollars of legal and court fees — and family feuds.
- Has anyone in the family married, or is there a marriage on the horizon? A marriage — or a cohabitation arrangement — can significantly change your family dynamics, and you may want to re-consider your current estate-planning directives and make some changes.
- Have you or your spouse received an inheritance, or is an inheritance on the near horizon?
There’s 5 items — less than 10 — and not so daunting.
If you’re my client, by all means call and schedule a no cost-consultation to review these and other items you’ve been thinking about or wondering about. As humans, it’s natural to rethink things.
Call my secretary, Ruth, at 801-534-7271 and we’ll set aside an hour or two to “get to the heart” of what you’ve been thinking about or even worrying about. Don’t put that off any longer. I know you’re busy trying to cope with all the “Top 10 Lists” of things to do that are circulating every which way but, really, planning for your unexpected mental incapacity or demise is likely more important than most everyting else that is occupying your time.