Today I have the pleasure of hosting attorney Joe Dadich who blogs about estate planning.
And here’s a plug from me:
Yes, I know, I, too, think I’m immortal — but, folks, you never know when you’re going to go — and when you do, the headache for settling your estate will fall on those near and dear to you: your spouse, your kids, your niece from Saint Loius. Someone will have to find them, and go through the trouble of settling your estate when they are grieving for you, and without a will.
Trust me, this is not what you want to wish on them.
A good friend died unexpectedly some years back, and he didn’t have a will. His four kids, then in their late teens and early 20’s, had to deal with not just burying their father, but with the resulting legal hassle.
So read Joe”s post and take it to heart.
Three Emergency Estate Planning Myths Online Will Company’s, Cable Finance Guru’s DO NOT KNOW about – that will knock your socks off!One of the biggest fallacy’s in the world of media is that there is so much mis-information. Take for instance the show I was watching the other night on a national cable station. They had one of the female finance hosts discussing what busy women should do to protect their kids in the event the parents pass on.
So, out of intrigue I watched to see what the answers were going to be. I was shocked when the first words out of the hosts mouth was flagrantly false!!
Not only have I studied what self-professed financial guru’s believe are in every family’s LEGAL best interest, but I’ve studied the online alleged legal solution providers. And long-time membership company’s that have been around for decades.
As I will share with you here and in the book is a peak into the mis-information and devious nature these outlets attempt to illustrate to you – the consumer and nightly news watcher.
Myth #1: YOUR ESTATE PLAN IS VALID FOR YEARS TO COME AFTER YOU SIGN IT. You should be hearing the Alex Tribek’s Jeopardy buzzer with this one. For the past 18 years I have always advised clients that once you sign a legal document what happens when you want to make changes? With every self-professed legal insider and estate planner they have failed miserably at providing the ability to allow for changes to be made. What do I mean with this?
At all of the conferences I speak at I provide a list of questions you should always ask your legal advisor (and quite frankly any financial advisor) who is attempting to provide you with estate planning advice. Here is the #1 item you should ask. How often can I come back to update my plan AND WITHOUT PAYING FOR THE UPDATES?
What happens why you go into a store that is offering a great deal of $9.99 and then you find out this item is only good for a short period of time or worse they are out of the item and now you are stuck buying another. It’s called a bait-and-switch.
Further, remember what happened when Michael Jackson passed away? He had originally signed a Will back in 2002. Now he had all the money in the world – allegedly. His Mother was contesting who was actually controlling Michael’s finances post-death. It was wildly reported Michael’s disgust with the current financial advisors who were controlling his Estate. The point is, what if this is you? Michael should have changed and/or updated his estate plan to have his new intentions known. What happens when you need to make a change?
They get you in for a certain price. And they don’t tell you how much (or where you can turn) it will cost to update the plan. To solve this problem you need to check out the nation’s first ‘Certificate of Guarantee’™. I have taken all the non-sense out of the mis-information and provided what is actually needed.
Make sure when you are creating your plan you get this in writing.
MYTH #2: A WILL IS ENOUGH TO PREVENT RESPONSIBLE FAMILY’S KIDS FROM BEING RAISED BY THE STATE OR UNWANTED FAMILY MEMBERS.
If you recall the reality tv show – Jon and Kat Plus 8 – the family there was raising 8 kids. Even before the trivial divorce, I was one of the first to write about what would happen should each parent passes away. What we discovered when I was asked to analyze what would happen to their kids we came up with a startling fact.
If you recall the reality tv show – Jon and Kat Plus 8 – the family there was raising 8 kids. Even before the trivial divorce, there were rumors about who would care for the kids if something happened to one of them. I was one of the first to write about what would happen should each parent passes away. What we discovered when I was asked to analyze what would happen to their kids we came up with a startling fact.
Imagine having the worse happen to you and your spouse (if married). So for Jon and Kate, who would raise their kids? Did you know if you only have a Will, and your named guardians are not located there is a chance the state you reside in could place your kids in the foster care system? Or worse, what would happen if you have an uncle or aunt that has alcohol or drug issue? Are these really who you want to raise your kids? A Will in the traditional sense does not address these issues.
To address this you need to make sure you nominate ‘Emergency Guardian/Conservators’ and ‘Temporary Guardian/Conservators’. Along with a clear set of guidelines for any caregiver and/or babysitter.
MYTH #3: 99% of Emergency Estate Plans do not have 24/7 access to their documents.What do you think happens to your emergency estate planning documents after you sign them? Well, if you are one of the lucky 28% that get a plan in place, then you know, that your documents are routinely placed in a safe-deposit box, shoe box under your bed, safe in your home – you get the picture.
Try to envision how would you get access to your most critical documents in a time of need? What would happen if you and a spouse are in a terrible accident on a Friday night? How are you and your loved ones going to get these documents to a hospital?
Further, if a loved one needs to make a critical life-saving decision did you know Probate Courts typically take up to 14 days, if not longer for the proper filings to obtain access to important health care documents.
The solution is a little-known strategy to work with a company that handles 24/7 medical access. This is an important item to discuss with your emergency estate planning attorney.
To recap, a responsible family that is concerned about reducing costs, staying out of probate court, ensuring access to your most important documents, ensuring a State or unwanted family members are not raising your minor kids then keep these simple strategies in mind when preparing your estate.
Joseph is the noted author of ‘Celebrity Estate Plans Gone Bad – Secrets Every Woman Needs to Prevent Emotional and Financial Turmoil when a Spouse Dies’. To contact Joe, email him at [email protected] to find out how you can get a copy of your very own Free VIP Will.