Authored by: Matthew F. Penater, Partner – Elville and Associates
Why do we need an estate plan? Really, why do we need to put our energy into reviewing our assets, hiring an estate planning attorney, making potentially difficult decisions about life-changing events, and talking about our ultimate demise? Because, as my college Ethics professor said, it is the right thing to do. It’s not the right thing to do because it will give us peace of mind that our estates are in order (although that is both a valid and practical reason); it is the right thing to do because we have a responsibility to ensure that our houses are in order when the time comes for someone else to step in. We all know that a good estate plan put together by a qualified estate planning lawyer will ensure your loved-ones receive the benefits of your lifetime of hard work. But it’s more than that. Let’s look at from a different angle – the perspective of not just ensuring our loved ones are cared for, but that they don’t have a mess to clean up after we have passed on. So many people pass away with their finances in a state of mass confusion, important documents scattered to the wind, and their affairs generally a mess. Leaving that kind of situation for your loved ones can cause months of worry, confusion and stress. The last thing most people would want to be remembered for is how much stress and anxiety their death brought to their family. Give it the time and attention your estate plan deserves, if for no other reason than to protect your family from additional stress piled on top of the heartache of losing you.