Unfortunately, we deal with death on a fairly regular basis as part of our practice, so it usually does not take us by surprise. However, we recently have had a couple of shocking deaths which illustrate why it is never too soon to plan.
The first person that we lost was an elderly man (we’ll call him “Al”) who had spoken with us a couple of times and knew he needed to get a plan in place. However, he kept putting it off and never actually made it into our office. Just a few days after our last contact with Al, his family called to say that Al had died due to an unexpected and unpredictable event and asked if we had his planning documents. Sadly, we had to give them what is, to us, the worst news possible at an already stressful time: Al did not have any plan in place; he had waited too late.
On the other hand, we recently helped a relatively young man (we’ll call him “Bob”) get his wishes into a valid estate plan just in time. Bob was sick and knew it; he had been given several months to live. Given the circumstances, and the fact that Bob had a minor child to protect, we worked quickly to ensure that his trust was completed and signed as soon as possible. When Bob died unexpectedly within 36 hours of signing his plan, his family at least had the comfort of knowing that Bob’s affairs were in order.
If you would like to learn more about why and how you should plan now to protect yourself and your family, you are welcome to attend one of our monthly Truth About Estate Planning workshops.