Written by Robert T. Nickerson
October marks two occasions. First is national estate planning awareness month (we know it’s not the most recognized of celebrations). Second, October means it’s Halloween!
Some people are spending their time watching scary movies. Some are helping out their children getting their costumes ready for trick or treating. Some are just enjoying the autumn colors that really bloom in October. But we can’t deny that there’s a little bit of Halloween fright hanging in the air. But it’s also time to bring up another scary thought; that you may have not gotten around to having your family ready when your gone.
I would hope that you’ve taken the steps to have your estate plan all created and ready to go when the time comes. Afterall, there are a number of things that could happen so that you wouldn’t be able to act on your own behalf, mentally or physically. And when your dead, how is your family going to be able to go forward without proper instructions?
While it’s not a pleasant thought, the chances of us suffering from a dilemma, accident, illness, or something else that ends up making us disabled are higher then you think. In fact to quote from the Social Security Administration, a young person starting a career today has a one in three chance of dying or qualifying for Social Security Disability Income before reaching Social Security’s full retirement age. So the next time your out with two of your buddies, one of you has a good chance of being taken out of a normal life.
Our law office has received many phone calls over the years from people who say they’ve been named as an executor of someone’s estate or have suddenly found themselves in charge of a loved one. This is usually a result of the family not communicating enough about their future plans, thus creating more confusion then comfort. It’s a situation that’s really scary to see, especially since whatever decisions that person makes, the loved one will be the bearer of that consequence.
Most of the time, that person has a hard time finding all the necessary documents in order to proceed with the next step, whether it’s following one’s estate plan or the even tougher circumstance of having to go to probate to settle things. So how can we make sure we can streamline things better for our new executor of an estate plan? By creating a go to folder where they can find most of the information they need.
What we’re talking about is both a physical folder that can be placed in a safe and an electronic one that can be accessed. So what’s going to be in this folder? Here’s a comprehensive list of what should be included:
This is a lot of information and we’re aware of that. We told you that we were going to scare you this Halloween. We also hope this compels you to start some work on a folder so that your future won’t be as scary.
Click on the link below for more information on how we can help ensure this kind of this is set up to prepare for your families' future.
Jeffrey C. Nickerson - Estate Planning Attorney - My Passion is Special Needs Planning!