A year ago I wrote about a man who passed suddenly and unexpectedly.
His assets were not insignificant and he was concerned how they would be used after his death.His first concern was that the money be available to assist his spouse. However, he also felt it better that someone besides her control how the money be used for her benefit. This is not an unusual concern when a spouse is dealing with dementia or some of the mental frailties of age.
Unfortunately, he passed before actually addressing his concerns. As a result, the laws of the State of Idaho dictated what would happen to his estate even though that result was different than the wishes he had expressed. Telling your wishes to someone, even family, does not mean those wishes can be followed if you have taken no other steps to create an estate plan.
Several times in 2016 we received calls under similar circumstances.
Each new year brings renewed hope, happiness and opportunity. It is also safe to assume each of our lives will change in the coming year. Hopefully that change will be for the better.
However, for some of us, the coming year will bring difficult changes. When we become incapacitated or pass away, others will be significantly impacted. In some cases that impact will be felt for years. Life is not convenient enough to often give us the advance warning we may want.
I hope that each of us will enjoy a wonderful coming year. Start the new year by giving yourself the gift of peace of mind. That peace of mind will come if you take the first step now to “plan while you can.” Learn for yourself how simple it can be to ensure you have an estate plan that blesses -- rather than burdens -- those who mean the most to you.
© 2017 Steven J Wright