Good To Know

Why an Estate Plan Should Be Your Top New Year’s Resolution

By Colin Smith | Contributor

It’s finally 2022. COVID departed and returned to torment us again. The normalcy that we all crave seems to consistently stay out of reach as we avoid catching a disease that can disable or kill. In these uncertain times, we try to prepare for the unexpected. One of the ways we can do that is good old-fashioned damage control – if something befalls us, who makes decisions for us? And how do we put those decisions into motion?

A Will specifies who gets someone’s material possessions upon their death. While a Will is a critical part of an overall “plan,” it does not address a host of other scenarios that can occur when a person is living. What if a person is in a car accident and becomes a paraplegic? What if they are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s? Or, what if they take the vacation of a lifetime, but they somehow disappear?   Who will raise their children, and under what terms and conditions? 

A thorough estate plan answers all those questions. It specifies what happens if we lose control of any kind – control of our person, our finances, or our children. For example, who will be a guardian for minor children? Who will make health decisions for someone who isn’t able to make their own? Who decides if someone is buried or cremated? If your estate plan doesn’t have answers to these questions (and many others), they may be decided in a courtroom at a far greater expense – and to make matters worse, you may not like the results.

An estate plan can include combinations of trusts, wills, deeds, and other legal papers. As a result, it can cut tax costs, ensure your wishes are met, and hopefully avoid expensive litigation.

In addition, it will handle unique family peculiarities, protect your children, protect your spouse and other family members – during your life, during your period of disability should one occur, and after your death.  

When you come to visit us, we take the time to get to know you, your wishes, family history, assets, and concerns about the present and future. Once we understand your family dynamic, we recommend an approach to address your concerns. In an era of precautionary measures, don’t forget to protect what is most important. 

Publisher’s Note:  Colin Smith is an estate planning and probate attorney at Colin Smith Law. I’ve rarely come across an attorney who is as dedicated to his clients; leaving no stone unturned to provide services and solutions that are right for you.  Reach him at colin@colinsmithlaw.com or call 972.773.9095.  www.ColinSmithLaw.com

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