What Happens When the People You Love Don’t Have an Estate Plan?

When someone becomes a client because they have lost a loved one – one who didn’t have their estate plan in place, it breaks our heart. One of our clients recently lost her life-partner and now she is having to move out of the house that they lived in, laughed in, and is filled with their memories.

Without a Trust in place, the house they co-owned went into probate. The decedent’s family wanted it sold right away so they could get their inheritance. Having no choice, the house was sold, forcing our client to relocate. Since her closest family is thousands of miles away from the home she has known for over 50 years, that’s where she has moved.

This is a sad situation, one which could have, and should have been avoided.  

To help as much as we could, we walked her through the probate of her dear life-partner’s estate. With a team of downsizers, movers, and loving hands we helped her move to her new home. We are sad to see her go, but we’re excited about the next chapter in her life.

Bottom line, we want to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.

An estate plan is essential to ensuring that your wishes are followed. The four corners of an estate plan are:

  1. Power of Attorney – The Power of Attorney empowers a trusted agent (someone you designate) to speak on your behalf.
  2. Advance Healthcare Directive – The purpose of the Advanced Healthcare Directive is to identify what you want if you’re not able to care for yourself. It provides your loved ones with information that identifies how you want to be treated, and where you want to get access to that treatment until the end of your life.
  3. Trust – Creating a Trust is a step you will want to take, especially if you have more than $150,000 in assets. You designate your trustees, and if something happens to you, they can step into your shoes and keep working for you.
  4. Will – A Pour-Over Will acts as the catch-all. It gives you a chance to ensure that anything that was left out of the trust is put back into the trust.

Please make sure you and your loved ones have an estate plan in place.

Do it for those you love, so if anything happens, you will know that your wishes will be followed and your loved ones aren’t forced to deal with the harsh reality of probate.

If you want to learn more about estate planning, contact us today!

  • 28 May, 2019
  • Löan Shillinger

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