Not that long ago we all experienced another Valentine's Day. The day set aside to show your significant other your love and appreciation. I gave my wife and each of my two daughters flowers, and of course a Valentine's Day card. As an Arizona estate planning attorney, I meet with clients everyday and see so many different ways in which people express love and concern to each other.
A few weeks ago I met with a couple regarding their estate plan. The husband was set in his ways, maybe even a little stubborn. He proudly stated that he did not need an estate plan. "Why do I care; I won't be here?"
At first I was not sure if he was serious or if he was pulling my leg. It did not take me long before I could see that he was serious. He seemed only to have attended the meeting to appease his wife. I asked him if he cared about his wife, to which he quickly responded, "Of course I do!"
I then asked him if he had ever considered what would happen to her and what she would have to go through when he died or if he became incapacitated. He had not. I explained to him that creating an estate plan is usually designed to help others rather than yourself.
He had never even thought of what might happen to his wife. I shared with him some of the stories of clients who had prepared and other clients who had not. The physical and emotional toll that failure to plan takes on a spouse or family members are huge. Thankfully, he saw the light and his love for his wife and concern for her well being motivated him to get an estate plan put in place.
Many of the difficult obstacles that families in these situations face today can be mitigated by the creation of a Living Trust and updated Health Care Documents (Health Care Power of Attorney, Living Will, Mental Health Care Power of Attorney & HIPPA disclosure form).
Not every estate plan needs to be complex, but everybody needs a plan. A good plan can provide for and protect your spouse in the event that something were to happen to you. Remember, a good estate plan is not for you, but is for them. This is why we say, "If you have a family, you have a reason."
What the Attorneys of Morris Hall Can Do For You:
The attorneys at Morris Hall have 100's of years of combined experience ensuring that families' assets are protected from probate, unnecessary taxes, creditors, ex-spouses and Medicaid spend-down. The attorneys also help those in Arizona and New Mexico to apply for and receive Medicaid assistance and Veterans Benefits. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead. Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!
Contributed by MH attorney West Hunsaker
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.