This article has been edited and was originally posted on www.abettslaw.com on June 14, 2014, “How is Your Estate Plan Looking for Father’s Day?” (Part 1 of 3 – Series for Men).
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, granddads, uncles and other men who have been mentors to young people. We celebrate the wonderful contributions that you have made. Enjoy your day and know that you are appreciated.
What happens to your assets when you are gone? The answer to that question is based on what you do now to address the distribution of your property. Waiting for a more opportune time to tackle the estate planning topic can have disastrous results for your family.
How is Your Estate Plan Looking for Father’s Day? Here are a few things to think about as you enjoy the tributes, gifts and appreciation:
Not many people like to think about their mortality. What are you afraid of when it comes to making plans for what happens to your hard earned assets upon your death?
On the other hand, how many people have documents in place to help loved ones navigate their business affairs if they suffer a temporary illness, injury or incapacity?
Things can get very messy when your spouse, child, parent, or business partner is trying to handle your business matters and you do not have a Power of Attorney authorizing them to act on your behalf.
Many banks, financial institutions and medical professionals are reluctant to proceed without such documentation.
The excuses about why you do not have an estate plan are usually very weak. Some examples include: I am too busy, I don’t want to think about dying or my family knows what I want.
Are you guilty of using a few of these excuses to justify the delay of planning your estate? If you do not make a Will that addresses your wishes and desires for what happens to your assets, then the state where you reside has one for you. Yes, states have their own lists of who has priority to handle the accounting and distribution of your estate.
Even the guardian of your precious children can be left to the courts to decide, if you do not appoint a guardian in your Will. Do you want a court to decide who raises your children?
Estate planning has many components. The items listed above are just a few of the things that you should consider when putting your estate plan together.
We celebrate you on Father’s Day and the other 364 days of the year.
This post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice. Consult with an attorney about your particular situation.
Aquanetta J. Betts is an attorney licensed in Washington, DC and Maryland. She is a frequent speaker on the topics of wills, trusts, estates, planned giving and business matters. Connect with her on Twitter @AquanettaBetts.