31st Aug 2017
Everyone has an estate plan – whether they know it or not.
And estate planning is as much about life as it is death.
– temporarily or permanently loses their mental or physical ability to take care of themself;
– faces end of life decisions such as whether to be kept alive on life-sustaining treatment;
– or encounters the various other challenges and inevitabilities of life;
1) they will either have an estate plan in place that will help guide the process; or,
2) the law will guide the process and someone or something else will make decisions and requirements for them.
Sometimes, in limited situations, not having an estate plan is not a big deal. If a husband dies with a wife and no kids, his property may end up owned by the wife whether there is planning or not.
However, in many situations, not having an estate plan is a big deal. Take the same husband who dies with a wife, but say they also have kids. His property will not pass all to his wife; part will pass to the children – which is not what most people want. And if those children are minors or have other issues, there are further complications.
Take the same husband, and say he does not die, but instead loses his mental and physical ability to care for himself. With a good estate plan in place, including a Durable Power of Attorney, his wife or someone else may be able to step in and act on his behalf for most issues rather seamlessly. If he does not have a Durable Power of Attorney, a court-supervised guardianship or other action may be necessary, which will take much more time and expense to get in place. We could look at many other examples.
Our office’s mission in estate planning, as set out on our website, is: “We help clients deal with the uncertainties of life and plan for the future.” This new blog series will dig deeper into these issues. This is an area of the law that is very personal and sometimes difficult to deal with – but is very important and affects every person. So, please read along, ask questions, make suggestions, and otherwise join in.
If our office may be of assistance to you in these areas, do not hesitate to contact us at (580) 338-6503 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or using any of our contact information in the profile. You can also visit www.fieldandhicks.com for more information.
This blog contains general information and the opinions of the author – not legal advice; you should seek the advice of competent counsel (attorney/lawyer) when considering any legal issues.