“Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week.”
This Spanish proverb about procrastination sums up the lives of many right now. We have so much we want to do, and not enough time to do everything. Matters that don’t affect us today get pushed down our to do list for “tomorrow.” Matters that are uncomfortable to think about get pushed even farther down the list, even when we know that these matters are important.
To help move estate planning off of the “tomorrow” list, Congress instituted National Estate Planning Awareness week in 2008. The purpose of this week is to help Americans understand the importance of thoughtful estate planning and its role in a person’s financial well-being.
Warner’s Trusts and Estates Practice Group sent an eAlert on October 17, 2022, that included a list of the documents created during estate planning and an action list to help ensure that your documents are organized and accessible and that your planning is up-to-date for your family’s needs. Included on that list were important items like checking and updating your beneficiary designations and looking through older plans to see if changes are needed (perhaps due to the birth of a child, the sale or purchase of property or a change in tax laws). You may read the full eAlert here.
This week is also a reminder to reach out to your family’s young adults and encourage them (or even assist them) to create their planning documents or update their planning if warranted by recent family events (marriage, birth of a child, divorce or death in the family). Remember that parents are not automatically given the authority to make medical and financial decisions for their children once they reach age 18. This means that every person aged 18 or older, even if they have very few assets, should at least create power of attorney documents that name agents (such as a parent) to make financial and medical decisions.
If your estate plan is more than five years old, contact your Warner estate planning attorney to see if changes may be necessary. We can also help create estate planning for family members who need this — reach out to a Warner trusts and estates attorney or to Sara Nicholson at email@example.com or at 269.276.8131.