I want to take this time and opportunity to share a recent experience. As an estate planning attorney in Albuquerque, I spend the majority of my time talking about and planning for people’s deaths. On its surface, it seems pretty morbid, but the reality is that I enjoy being able to help those people who come to talk with me. And because I know I am helping these families, I am able to sleep at night.
Then I met with a special client. She is one of the nicest people I have ever met, but when she told me her story, it really hit home.
She has been a widow since 1983. Her husband died at age 41, leaving her with a four-year-old and a six-year-old. The disease came on suddenly, and his passing came less than three months after diagnosis. Though it was rough on my client, she survived and ultimately continued to live a full life.
Our meeting took place although I was not feeling all too well. As she told her story, I realized that I will be 41 this year, and my son will be four. My mind took those “facts” and ran with them. My invincibility was shattered. I was staring my mortality in the face.
The first thing I did was to make sure that if it was my time to go that my wife and son would be able to survive and still live a full life.
Our estate plan is in place. But I had not taken the time to make sure my wife knew all the accounts, the web sites, and passwords (she had a general idea, but not the details). I corrected that immediately. I made a list of all the institutions that we have accounts with, the passwords to get into those accounts, and the phone numbers of the people she needs to call.
I also double-checked the beneficiary designations on my retirement accounts and life insurance. I want those assets to be accessed as easily as possible. And I found that one of my accounts had no beneficiary designations, so I made that update immediately!
I am glad I talked with the client who shared a story that made me reflect on my own home estate plan. It prompted me to get more organized and better prepared. As with any good contingency plan, I hope I do not have to use it any time soon, but if I do, I am really glad to have it up-to-date.
Take the time and make sure your plan is up-to-date. And don’t be 90% sure, be 100%!
The attorneys at Morris Hall will be happy to sit down and talk with you about your plan, and the steps that need to be taken to get it to the 100% level.
Contributed by MH Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces Estate Planning attorney James P. Plitz.
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
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