As estate planning attorneys, one of the most frequently asked questions we receive is, “when do I need estate planning?” After seeing families scramble as a result of inadequate or incomplete estate planning, instinctively the answer is “yesterday”. Every time this particular question comes up, it is difficult not to think of the times when a client has literally been fighting the clock. For example, someone who has either only recently survived a serious health condition, or has received a diagnosis that is grim.
Chauvel & Glatt attorneys regularly makes hospital visits to provide legal counsel to individuals who know that leaving their family with a well-organized estate is necessary to avoid the stress and cost of probate. As you can imagine, this process can be difficult. The stress of finding an attorney, making sure that the attorney can complete the task on an urgent basis, reviewing the documents before signing, finding witnesses and a mobile notary to be at the hospital, is often overwhelming to the client as well as to family members. Often, the words we hear during this process are “why did I wait until now?” Nonetheless, this task weighs heavily on clients and once it is completed, the words we hear are “now I have a peace of mind”.
A common misconception among many people is that estate planning is not necessary unless they have real property, “real money”, or children. The reality is, anyone over the age of 18 should at the very least have Powers of Attorney for health care and property, which appoints an agent to make medical or property related decisions in the event of incapacitation but while still alive. As a means to avoid probate, a complete evaluation of assets is necessary to determine if a Trust is needed. Remember, a will alone does not avoid probate!
Here at Chauvel & Glatt, we will prepare an estate plan and review your assets to determine if you need a Trust. Completing your estate plan can give you the peace of mind knowing that you have protected your assets and helped your beneficiaries avoid probate. We value our work and want to assist our clients in the best way we can. This means traveling to you to meet with you and discuss how we can help. To learn how our attorneys can assist you with your estate planning or other legal needs, contact us today.