Whether or not we do it regularly, all of us know how to plan ahead: We plan for travel and vacation, we plan weddings, and we plan for natural disasters, for retirement, or what to make for dinner tomorrow night. Why is it, then, that so few of us will create a plan to help our families and loved ones when we die, or –perhaps more importantly — when we become disabled or need care?
Part of the reason may certainly be fear and discomfort. Nobody likes to think about their own death, let alone talk about it with others; but neglecting to have this conversation now, while you are still alive and able to do so, means that you are leaving the conversation for your loved ones to have later, when they are hurt and grieving or burdened with care responsibilities. It also means that you are unfairly asking them to guess at what your wishes may have been, and make difficult decisions that should have been yours to make.
This article by Michael O’Mara lists 10 things to for your family before you die. 10 things may seem like a tall order, especially when the subject is “the great hereafter”; but it seems a whole lot easier when you consider that 7 of the things listed are generally addressed as part of your estate planning with our firm—and we can help you with the other 3 things if you so desire. We would actually add to that list a # 11 that is equally important: plan for the possibility of needing long term care. This could be by purchasing appropriate long term care insurance (if you can qualify and it is affordable) or by creating powers in your estate planning documents to enable you to qualify for a public benefits subsidy to both help defray those costs and preserve your assets for your family. Our firm is especially qualified to help with #11.
You wouldn’t leave it for your children to pack your suitcase after you’ve left on vacation—don’t leave it for them to make your difficult decisions after you’ve passed away or after you have become incapacitated. Take charge today.