Many people have a hard time thinking about estate planning. This is one of the reasons why the majority of adults in the United States don’t have a comprehensive estate plan in place. Considering your own estate planning needs is one thing, but talking about incapacity planning and estate planning with your parents as they’re getting older may be even more difficult.
It is not uncommon for people to keep their financial affairs to themselves. This can even extend to close family members. There is nothing inherently wrong with this tendency toward confidentiality. But at the same time, a high percentage of elders ultimately receive living assistance of one kind or another from their children. Communication about the matter would certainly make sense.
In addition to this, is it all that unreasonable for an adult child to wonder about a possible future inheritance? One way to approach the situation would be to talk about your own estate planning efforts with your parents. As you share your own plans they may open up, seeing why you have a need to know.
Aside from the transfer of financial assets there is the matter of decision-making in the event of incapacity. Have your parents executed living wills expressing their preferences regarding the use of life-support measures? Do they have durable powers of attorney naming individuals who would be empowered to make decisions in their behalf if it was to become necessary?
Obviously it could be uncomfortable for some people to pose these questions to their parents. However, these are questions that need to be answered. If there is no plan in place situations could eventually ensue that would be considerably more uncomfortable for all concerned.
Life insurance is going to be a part of most estate plans. Before you are able to accumulate significant financial resources on your own, life insurance is a safety net that will provide income replacement for your family if you were to pass away before your time.
It is important to evaluate your family’s financial needs as you make sure that you’re always carrying sufficient coverage. As life events take place and the needs of your family increase, you may need to review your existing policies and make adjustments.
Insurance serves other purposes in estate planning beyond that of an income replacement vehicle. It is at the core of buy sell agreements that are used in small business succession planning for business partners. It is also utilized to balance inheritances.
The above having been stated, your insurance policies will be of little use if the beneficiaries don’t know they exist after you die. You may scoff at the notion, but in fact a very significant sum of money is out there unclaimed.
How much you ask? Insurance companies are holding on to some $1 billion that has never been claimed by rightful beneficiaries according to Consumer Reports.
When you draw up a last will you should include the selection of an executor or executrix who will administer the estate. It is important to make sure that this individual has access to all important documents. Keep this in mind when you are planning your estate and let your executor know where to find your life insurance policies.
Download Our Free Clinton Township Estate Planning Worksheet and Attend a Seminar
Our Mount Clemens estate planning attorneys do everything possible to provide tools that assist our neighbors that are interested in protecting the interests of their loved ones. We offer seminars on an ongoing basis, and you can check out our seminar page to see the schedule and obtain registration information. These sessions are extremely informative, and there is no charge to attend, so you have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
We have a resource that is available to you through this website that can be of great assistance as well. The Mount Clemens estate planning attorneys at our firm have devised a powerful worksheet that can help you develop a structure. This valuable resource is free as well, and you can visit this page to gain access your copy.
Schedule a No-Obligation Consultation
If you are ready to take the ultimate step and discuss your estate planning goals with one of our Clinton Township area estate planning attorneys, would be more than glad to accommodate you. We offer no obligation consultations, and you can set up an appointment right now if you give us a call at 586-493-7661.