A good friend of mine, in his middle thirties, recently had a minor outpatient surgery. His insurance covered the costs; it wasn’t a big risk; he didn’t worry about the outcome; and planning for what might happen in the event of a serious complication never crossed his mind.
He ended up having serious complications. And in the long recuperation period, he had much more motivation to reflect upon his mortality (and the possible end thereof). Fortunately, he is still alive. Fortunately, he still has opportunity to get his affairs in order.
If you are too young, or too poor, or too free of obligation, or too healthy, or too secure to do an estate plan . . . my friend might have something to tell you.
An estate plan makes sense to everyone who has any of the following:
• Minor children, or other potential minor beneficiaries
• Children from a prior relationship
• An IRA, 401k, 403b or other retirement/pension plan
• A business interest
• Assets that need to be protected
• Beneficiaries who need to be protected
• A beneficiary with a special need
• Over $100,000 in total assets
Part of an effective estate plan are proper health care documents:
• Living Will – do you want your life to be extended at all costs, or at some point do you want someone to stop the heroic measures to keep your heart beating if you are never coming back?
• Health Care Power of Attorney – who will make health care decisions for you if you are not able, and who will enforce the terms of your Living Will?
• HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) form – who has access to your protected health information, especially in the event of an emergency or end of life situation?
• Mental Health Power of Attorney – who will authorize the full-scale mental health evaluation if necessary, and where can you be placed to provide for your mental health care?
Age, income, net worth, and present security have little to do with the eventualities that can befall if, like my friend, matters take a sudden and serious turn for the worst.
If any of the above considerations applies to you, it would be wise to seek competent counsel about an estate plan appropriate for your circumstances.
Contributed by Morris Hall Attorney and partner Theron M Hall
About Morris Hall:
At Morris Hall, we have focused our legal practice on estate planning for over 40 years. Along with estate planning, our attorneys help clients and their families with matters of probate, trust administration, wills, powers of attorney, business planning, succession planning, legacy planning, charitable gifting and other important legal aspects. We also have divisions in financial, real estate and accounting to help you incorporate all of your planning together, ensuring that everything works perfectly for your needs and situation. 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!