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Simple Reasons that Everyone Needs Estate Planning

| Oct 14, 2020 | Estate Planning

WHO IS GOING TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR PETS?

Forget the children (which can also be taken care of in your will). Who is going to take care of your animal companions after you pass? 

Creating a Will isn’t something you do for yourself. It’s something you do for your loved ones to you’re your passing less complicated. While Power of Attorneys is put in place to assist you in your time of need and a living will make your wishes known about your end of life care….a well thought out and planned Last Will is a great roadmap to your loved ones of how your estate should be handled. One of the best things you can do to show your family you appreciate them is to make your wishes known and make sure loved ones are taken care of —whether it be human or animal children.  

WHO GETS YOUR BOTTLE CAP (or BEANIE BABY) COLLECTION? 

For ages, your Last Will and Testament laid out your personal property. Unfortunately, that meant every time you bought or sold the property, you’d have to either update your will or risk the right property not getting to the right people. The car you had in your younger years of life is probably not the one you are driving today. Who knows whether your bedroom set would be the same either. Regardless, today we prepare a document called a “Personal Property Memorandum” that gets attached and incorporated into your Last Will & Testament. The best part about that is that you can change it as you need without having to update your entire Last Will & Testament. You can take pictures and attach them to the exhibit. You can make your personal property wishes explained as clearly as you wish. This ensures that your valuables, mementos, and family heirlooms are handed down to the right person (or organization) who will really appreciate them. Failing to memorialize your wishes in your estate plan results in a “one size fits all” outcome. Is that truly how you wish to have people remember you? You’re a unique individual with your own wishes, hopes, and dreams. You should leave people the items you want them to remember you by.

WHO CAN PLAN YOUR FUNERAL BETTER THAN YOU?  

Let’s face it. 

Everyone dies at some time, whether they are rich, poor, or middle class. Between 70 to 75 decisions are made within the first 24-48 hours after death. It’s difficult to think rationally while making these decisions within days of losing a loved one. A well thought out estate plan allows for you to plan out not just whether you are cremated or buried, but as much detail as you want with instructions for your funeral or memorial service. Do you really want your spouse or children, who are faced with losing one of the most important people in their lives, to thoroughly think out your funeral? I often wonder if you don’t pre-plan your funeral, does your spouse just order from a drive-through menu to pick what he or she thinks you’ll like best? Why not have your funeral smell like your fresh home-made cookies? Why not have your favorite music playing as people come in. 

Why not have your favorite quotes from books that you identify with be read instead of just some random hymns played at every funeral? Your funeral is usually the last time your friends and family will see you. Why don’t you want to decide what you wear or what they remember you by? Make sure your family has a chance to remember and celebrate your life instead of placing the burden of arranging final plans… (If you haven’t yet considered the step of pre-planning your funeral formally, I recommend reaching out to Tyler and Kelsey Gofus, Supervisor and funeral Director of Houck Gofus Funeral Home (HYPERLINK THIS houckgofusfuneralhome.com) on Charlotte Street for excellent service! 

Make sure to mention RICK STOCK LAW for a free pre-planning consultation appointment. If you are the type that would rather start the process online, here’s a link to their pre-planning online form

HOW MANY NEW CARS DOES YOUR 18-YEAR OLD CHILD NEED? 

Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is protect children and other loved ones from themselves. You’ve worked hard to acquire wealth during your life….whether it’s a hundred dollars or a hundred million. Do you want to make sure your children are financially secure during their lifetime or maybe guarantee that their education costs are covered? I’m sure you sacrificed quite a bit to build your wealth. Would you want your son or daughter to buy 3 new sports cars and skipping college because they got a lump sum of money when they turned 18? The best thing you can do in a Will is set up a minor’s trust to hold the money until an age AFTER they have finished college. You can pick a trustee that will be able to access the money to pay for school, but before you trust an 18-year-old with a million bucks, make sure to think it out. I know when I was 18, I didn’t understand the value of a dollar, and I’m sure neither did you. So…why not help protect your children from themselves. Whatever your goals are, a proper estate plan can put provisions in place to make sure your loved ones are provided for, rather than having their inheritance squandered on a Ferrari, seized by a creditor, or given to an ex-spouse during a divorce.

You’ve worked hard to create the life you have—make sure you trust your planning to an experienced estate planning attorney and not a fill-in-the-blank, cookie-cutter document generator (you know you’ve heard of them) with a final product resembling a Mad Lib game. The attorneys at RICK STOCK LAW can help you generate fully customized estate planning documents that will not just protect those that surround you but will show them how thoughtful you are and how much you cared.