Do You Even Care What Happens to Your Family When You Die? Estate Planning 101
When you think about it, it’s really an interesting question, and so many people answer that question “no.”
If you’re raising your hands in anger right now, let me ask you a few questions.
Do you have a will?
Do you have a trust?
Have you done any estate planning?
Do you have life insurance?
Do you have a written plan for what people should do if you are disabled?
Have you taken the time to provide the advice you’d want your kids and family to have if you died suddenly?
Do you have a power of attorney?
Do you have a health care directive?
Have you named a guardian for your children?
Have you named a backup guardian for your children?
Have you provided instructions to your named guardians for the future?
Do you have disability insurance?
If you aren’t married, have you taken the steps to give your significant other the power they need to act on your behalf?
If you are in a same-sex marriage, have you taken the steps to give your spouse the power they need to act on your behalf?
If you answered no to the questions that apply to you, then your actions are telling me “no” you don’t care what happens to your family when you die.
No, I’m Not Trying to Sell You Estate Planning Services
I think the first reaction of many of us is to rationalize why we haven’t done this stuff yet. I know I have.
An easy out for you is to say “he’s just trying to sell me stuff.”
I probably shouldn’t be admitting this, but I haven’t done a lot of this stuff myself yet.
That might be what is the most distressing to me. I haven’t done it and I know how important it is.
What I can tell you is, by the time this post hits your eyes, I will have those things done.
But I’m not telling you this, or trying to make you feel guilty so you’ll buy my services. I don’t care if you buy my services or not.
What I care about is that you get it done.
The reason I’m telling you this stuff, the reason I’m writing this post, is that I have a family. I have kids. I have a wife. I have people that I care about. And I can tell you that thinking about something happening to me without having a plan to take care of them is really scary to me.
“Chances Are, Nothing Will Happen to Me…”
Turn the news on if you want to hear and see tragedy happening to unsuspecting people.
This is a situation just like the rest of your life – live for the best and plan for the worst.
That’s why you have car insurance.
That’s why you have medical insurance.
To take care of you just in case something happens.
The beauty of all of those things I listed for you above is that you get to choose the outcome of every scenario before hand. You get to make sure your wishes are followed when you are gone.
You get the opportunity to take care of your family.
You get the opportunity to keep your kids from having to spend time in the custody of the state.
You get the opportunity to tell your daughter what advice you have for her on her wedding day.
You get the opportunity to make sure your family won’t have to sell your house after you are gone.
You get the opportunity to create wealth for future generations of your family.
But, you only get that opportunity if you prepare in advance.
Where do You Start?
The beauty of this is that you don’t have to do it all at once. And you probably shouldn’t. That’s a great way to get nothing accomplished.
If you have kids, start here. This will get you free basic guardianship paperwork so if your kids are left without parents they’ll know exactly where they are supposed to go.
After that, get some life insurance – at least enough to cover the cost of your house (we’ll get into the specifics of life insurance at another time).
When you’ve done that, get some disability insurance, so if you are permanently disabled you can still provide for your family.
Next would be a health care directive, so if you are incapacitated your family doesn’t have to guess as to what you would have wanted buy celexa done.
Finally would be things like a will, trust, etc. to make sure all of your stuff goes where you want, when you want, and is watched over by who you want. Yes, for this stuff you’ll need an estate planning lawyer like me to help. But, if you don’t want my help that’s fine, go get it from some where else.
Just get it done.
You do Care What Happens to Your Family When You Die
I know you do. It was a bit of a rhetorical question.
But at this stage of the game (and yes, this applies to you no matter what stage of the game you are in), you can’t just say it, you’ve got to show it.
Get started on this stuff today. Be able to answer this question “yes!” emphatically in the future.
P.S. Do you have kids? Have you completed guardianship paperwork? Have you done it correctly? Click here to find out what happens if you don’t do anything: Are you okay with a judge choosing the guardians of your children?
P.P.S. Do you own a business? Do you have a plan so the business, and your family, can survive if something happens to you? If not, click here to learn how simple it is to protect your business and your family from tragedy: 5 Ways to Protect Your Business from Catastrophic Failure.
P.P.S. Do you have no kids and think you don’t need an estate plan? Single and think a will is only for married couples. You couldn’t be more wrong. Click here to learn more: 5 reasons estate planning is a must have even if you don’t have kids.