Essential Estate Planning Ideas, Part 3: Why You Need a Plan Right Now

This third blog post in our ongoing series on essential estate planning ideas will look at some of the more important issues you should understand. Namely, we are going to look at why it’s important for every capable adult in the state of Colorado to have an estate plan in place as soon as possible.

If you have been following along with this series, you already have a basic understanding of many of the issues surrounding estate planning. If, after reading those posts, you are still not convinced that estate planning is right for you, perhaps the following reasons will sway you.

Essential Estate Planning Idea: Communicating Your Wishes

If there is one single thing that estate plans allow you to do, it communicates your desires and your choices with your family and loved ones. After you are gone, or after you are incapacitated, your family will be left in an emotional state. Whether they are mourning your death or are trying to deal with the reality of you not being able to care for yourself, they will not be in the ideal position to handle complicated legal and personal affairs.

Yet when you die without an estate plan, this is exactly what you force upon your family. Without clear instructions from you, your closest loved ones will have to make some important, and often very difficult, decisions that will affect you or your estate. What should they do? What would you have wanted them to do if you could speak to them? Without an estate plan, these questions go unanswered.

Essential Estate Planning Idea: Preventing Conflict

Closely related to the idea of leaving behind a plan to express your wishes, there’s also the idea that, without a plan, your family could have some serious disagreements about what is in your best interests. Take the situation, for example, where an aging parent has become incapacitated and left behind several adult children. If that parent has not left behind an estate plan and the children disagree about the kind of medical care or treatment the parent should receive, this is a recipe for disaster. In situations like this, it isn’t uncommon for such disagreements to be resolved only after courts get involved. Beyond that, conflicts that arise under such circumstances can often be incredibly damaging the family and personal relationships. The type of damage done after these conflicts arise can be permanent, and can sever even the longest, and strongest, family ties.

Essential Estate Planning Idea: Reassurance

One of the benefits of estate planning that many of our clients say they value is the ability to rest assured that you have done all that you can do. Without creating a plan, you have no way to be sure that your family and loved ones will be protected if something should happen to you. On the other hand, taking the time to craft a plan provides you with exactly this kind of reassurance.

Estate Planning Workshop

If you have more questions about how a trust can help you, be sure to attend one of our free estate planning workshops in July.  Click here to register for one of those workshops today!

Author Bio

Catherine Hammond is the CEO and founder of Hammond Law Group, a Colorado-based estate planning law firm she founded in 2005. With a strong focus on protecting families from the legal consequences of disability and death, she creates comprehensive estate plans that minimize taxes, costs, and government interference.

A native of Denver, Catherine completed her undergraduate studies at Coe College in Iowa, and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver College of Law in 1993, concentrating on estate planning, tax, and mediation. Catherine is a member of various professional organizations, including WealthCounsel, ElderCounsel, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Colorado Springs Estate Planning Council, and the Purposeful Planning Institute. Beyond her legal expertise, Catherine provides transformational coaching to support clients and their families through life transitions.

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