I have thought often of a voice message I received several years ago from a woman that was rather upset over a mailing piece of ours that was sent to her. This mailing was regarding upcoming seminars we were having that discussed “What Happens When You Die” and goes through what happens with or without a trust at death or even during your life, should you become incapacitated mentally or physically. It was mailed out to the public that lived within a specific radius from where the seminar was being held.
The voice message I got was from a woman who, very angrily, screamed about our mailer for quite a long time. She continually mentioned this statement, “I’m only 39 years old! Don’t you KNOW when people die?!” Had I been speaking directly with this individual, I probably would have stated, “well yes, I know when people die. At any time, at any age, of any cause…” She may not have liked my answer, but it is the truth. No single one of us are guaranteed any set number of years on this earth. We hope to die of old age, resting in our bed, painlessly, while our many children and grandchildren lovingly surround us. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. A friend of mine just lost her newborn child after struggling for weeks at the ICU and going through a number of procedures. She never even got to take her child home. My mother has lost three brothers – one at 2 years old, one at 45 years old and one at 57 years old. Back in my high school days my 16 year old friends were killed when they were hit by a drunk driver.
So, my answer to her question of “Don’t you know when people die?!” would be “yes and no.” “Yes” because we know that people can die at any age and any time, and “no” for the same reason. Because things can happen at any age, we recommend to our clients that they get healthcare documents set up for their children the moment they turn 18. They should have HIPAA, Power of Attorney (medical, mental, financial) and a Living Will at the very least. Once a person owns a home, some assets and especially once they have a family, they should have more advanced planning – generally a living trust. These documents are a precautionary method to ensure that your loved ones and your various responsibilities are taken care of if something should happen to you.
Whether you are 20 or 90 years old, there are no guarantees in this life, and the safest plan is to be prepared. We will all die, that is the one certainty, and we can and should prepare for it sooner rather than later.
If you have questions, contact our office at 888.222.1328 for a free consultation with one of our estate planning attorneys.
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, Cave Creek, 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!
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.