The Woeful Inadequacies of Traditional Estate Preparation: The 4 Important Concerns You Need To Ask Yourself
When I mention the words, estate planning, the majority of people think of meeting with a lawyer and drafting legal files. Traditionally, those files include a will, durable power of attorney, health care proxy and possibly a trust. After you prepare these files, you satisfy to sign them, then you put them someplace “safe,” cut a check to the lawyer and breathe a sigh of relief due to the fact that you finally have things covered. All is well and your estate is completely in order, right? INCORRECT!
Too often the drafting of legal documents is confused with establishing an estate strategy. Sure, legal documents are part of an estate strategy, however they are not “the” estate plan. You need to ensure that you have everything in one spot. If not, you could cause yourself some real problems. That’s why 98% of all estate prepares fail. That’s why you have debacles like the Terry Schiavo case and the Ted Williams conflict. In order to ensure that these sort of things don’t occur to you, you have to have a plan. Many people plan out what must occur in case of their deaths. Exactly what if you are disabled or mentally incapacitated? Effective estate plans need to be prepared in order to represent these sort of contingencies.
If you wish to have a reliable estate strategy, you should answer four exceptionally critical questions:
1. What documents do I require
? You require a will, durable power of attorney, and healthcare proxy. In addition, you require an initial marital relationship certificate, military discharge paperwork, health and life insurance information, beneficiary designation types, deeds, and appraisals. Another requirement you have to have is a listing of important contacts with telephone numbers.
2. How will my beneficiaries find these files? We all have our own individual and unique filing system that has actually worked well for us over the years. That’s fine. You should utilize your own unique filing system, whatever works for you. However, you do have to produce a system that “opens” your individual filing system. For example, if something ever happened to you, how would your recipients even know you had a safety deposit box, not to mention the place of the bank or key?
3. Who should have access to these documents when?
I understand that’s actually two concerns camouflaged as one. Remember, these documents are personal and personal. Today, we are all too aware of the really real risk of identity theft. Securing these files and making them readily available, under specific circumstances, to a choose group of people will permit you to safeguard your personal privacy while still preparing a reliable estate plan.
4. Who will best advise my beneficiaries?
Your estate plan needs to attend to not only your financial possessions, but also your dreams, desires, and worths. You have to designate that a person individual who can record all these qualities of your life, somebody with whom you have shared those most personal ideas. At you or your recipients’ time of need, who should be that one call?
Do not confuse correct estate planning with simply preparing the required documents or purchasing an insurance plan or unique financial investment product. A reliable estate plan can just be accomplished with a well considered method that is designed to protect your essential details and guide your successors. Only then will you have comfort in knowing that you’ve done your finest for your liked ones and nothing crucial will be ignored.
### For a review copy of the book or to set up an interview with Mark H. Kaizerman for a story, please contact Jay Wilke at 727-443-7115, ext. 223 or at email@example.com.