This past week I had quite a bit of quiet time to reflect on the importance of estate planning. My 15 year old son had emergency surgery to remove his appendix. As I sat in the hospital waiting area during the surgery, I looked around at the many families waiting for news about their ill loved ones and wondered if they had planned accordingly for their unexpected visit to the hospital. That is, who would be in charge of their affairs during this time of illness, whatever the duration may be.
As I glanced around the waiting area, I knew my circumstances were a bit different because I still have full decision-making authority over my son’s healthcare and financial decisions until he reaches 18 years of age. But it made me wonder whether these other families waiting for word from the surgeon, had planned properly to handle their affairs should the surgery not be successful.
Estate planning is not only about planning for death, but also planning for incapacity. Some people don’t consider the possibility that they could become incapacitated prior to passing away, although it happens to a large percentage or people. Proper planning must cover the possibility that you may have a medical condition that impairs your ability to make your own health or financial decisions; and planning for your eventual death.
Planning for incapacity can include a Healthcare Power of Attorney, Mental Healthcare Power of Attorney (in Arizona), Living Will and an Authorization to Release Health Information (HIPAA).These documents will nominate who will have the authority over your healthcare decisions during your life when you can no longer do so.
Planning for death can include a Last Will or a Revocable Living Trust. The size and complexity of your estate will determine which planning tool is best. In Arizona and New Mexico, if your estate exceeds $50,000 (cash, securities, retirement, insurance, etc) or $75,000 (real estate), then it would be beneficial to consult an experienced estate planning attorney to discuss tax planning, asset protection, and your goals and objectives.
Don’t delay the time to plan is now, before tragedy hits.
For more information or to schedule your free consultation, contact our office today at 888.222.1328.
Why Choose Morris Hall:
You have a number of options when it comes to estate planning, so why pick Morris Hall? First off, estate planning and asset protection are a very complicated endeavor and you should only trust someone who focuses exclusively on those matters. Also, MH is a proud member of The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA) which provides us additional support, advanced training, tools and information that is not available to others – which means that we can better protect your assets and your loved ones. We are one of only two firms in Arizona that belong to the AAEPA and are the only firm in New Mexico that has been granted membership. If you have assets and loved ones that you want to protect, you are in good hands with MH. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.