It's 2020! A new year. A new decade! A new !?!?!? Along with signing up for gym memberships, getting an estate plan seems to be one of the top new years resolutions. Each January we open a fresh new calendar and plan for growth and adventures. We resolve to be more organized, to be healthier, to be on top of things. If you are one of the many Americans making the resolution to get your estate in order, here are a few things to consider.
- Estate Planning boils down to control. Who will do what, what will go where? If you do not make the decision and put into a legal format someone else will, often dictated by state statute. If you need a source of motivation to roll up your sleeves and take action, focus on "control";
- Hire a professional. We live in a DIY society, and that is a wonderful thing -- if you have the time, patience and skill set to complete the project appropriately. My husband and I recently updated our kitchen, but not on our own. We hired experts. The result was a quality kitchen in a short period of time. There are plenty of resources about doing an estate plan, but are they the right fit for your situation and skill set?
- Accountability. Who will make sure you actually finish creating an estate plan. It's easy to order books on Amazon, download forms off the web, or attend a free seminar at the local library. But until you put ink to paper on final documents, you do not have an estate plan. Do you need a "workout buddy" to keep you motivated? Perhaps a friend, a spouse, or an attorney that will check in on you to keep the project moving forward.
- Don't Procrastinate. Life happens, and ends, in a second. Medical events develop leaving one incapacitated and unable to create a plan. Sometimes a death is out of the blue and instantaneous, leaving no time to make decisions. All too often someone falls gravely ill and while processing diagnoses and treatment plans, they attempt to wrap their energy and mind around putting together an estate plan.
Wishing you a wonderful 2020, and if it's on your to-do list, may you update or create an estate plan that gives you peace of mind. Thanks for reading. As a reminder, a blog post is not legal advice. It is simple thoughts from my side of the desk. Please consult with an attorney in your state, and obtain legal advice specific to your situation.