The team at Guttman Law wishes you and your loved ones a very happy holiday season! Although the past year has been challenging and many of us are celebrating in very different ways, this time of the year remains focused on connecting with and cherishing our loved ones. As you gather together safely or celebrate remotely via video chats and phone calls, the holidays are a great opportunity to share your goals, concerns, and wishes for the future with the people you care for the most.
You have a plan… so share it with the ones you love!
If you’ve created an estate plan with our team, we know you’ve not only put ample thought into what your wishes for the future are, but you’ve also taken action to ensure those wishes are carried out. While it’s not always comfortable to discuss the possibility of incapacity or death, these are important concerns we all share.
As we age, it becomes increasingly important that our loved ones understand our healthcare and medical wishes, residential plans (are we considering assisted living options in the future?), and any other critical needs. A vital piece of your estate plan that documents these wishes is your advanced healthcare directive, which is a document that those who you trust to care for you should know where to locate if and when it’s needed.
Not only should your loved ones know where to locate your estate planning documents, but they should also understand how they’re designed to function. It’s helpful to notify the key people who will be serving in different roles in your plan. Who will make medical, financial, and legal decisions if you’re incapacitated? Who will execute the plan and settle the estate? Ensuring your loved ones understand their role in your plans can help avoid conflict and confusion in the future.
A common mistake we see when a non-client visits our firm for the first time after losing a loved one, is that they didn’t know the decedent had an estate plan or what they are meant to do with it. It’s important that we not only have a plan to address the future, but that the people we want to care for us or settle our estate understand our wishes and know how to carry out those wishes.
We don’t do estate planning for ourselves… we create an estate plan for our loved ones.
If we become incapacitated or pass away, our loved ones will be faced with grief and stress. Creating an estate plan that your loved ones can easily access and utilize can be a way to minimize distress during an extremely difficult time.
“Your estate plan is a set of rules and instructions about your wishes. And when you create an estate plan, you’re giving your loved ones the tools they need to care for you and settle your estate when the time comes,” says attorney Matt Guttman.
During a season of giving, creating and sharing your estate plan with your loved ones is a valuable gift and an investment in your family’s future.
Once you’ve explained your goals and wishes to your loved ones, it’s important to make sure they know where to find your documents and who to turn to with any questions or concerns. Many of our clients have created Living Trusts with the goal of helping their loved ones avoid probate court. And while probate may not be on the horizon in some instances, that doesn’t mean our loved ones won’t experience any confusion. We welcome you to share our firm’s information with your loved ones so they know who to call if or when they need help.
Discussing your estate plan with your loved ones can be difficult; Guttman Law can help. If you’re unsure how to explain your plan to your family or you would like the chance for your loved ones to meet attorneys Matt Guttman and Jamie Reff-Wagner, we’re happy to offer our clients a complimentary family review meeting. During this remote (phone conference or Zoom meeting) meeting, your family can meet your estate planning attorney and get a high-level overview of your plan.
To schedule a family review meeting, call our team at (612) 324-4055.