Have you and your loved ones truly got everything in order? Well, let's hope you are not part of that 49 percent that don't have current (or any) will and don't have advance directives in writing.
If you love your family, give them the best gift of all-an organized plan that they are privy to if something happens to you. Regardless of marital status, net worth, age, gender, city or country living; we make decisions daily to protect self, partner, children, etc. We decide on best grocery choices, home needs, work issues and paycheck, vehicle needs, recreational plans. But what if you're suddenly not here? Beyond the grieving, do your loved ones know your wishes; how to go forward, where the necessary documents are; and what will they need? Not to be morbid but death is part of life for each of us.
I was recently chatting with a small group of people: a young woman who had just finished college, a middle-aged family man and a grandparent. The responses were similar in that they were part of the 49 percent of the population that don't seem to realize it isn't just about whether or not one has assets.
"I have no assets", "don't own a home", "kids are gone", and the excuses continue.
These misinformed statements are all too common. Anyone that has dealt with death of a loved one knows the frustrations of trying to find documents; if suddenly hospitalized just what does the person want and who is speaking for that person; what about the survivors (including those under-aged children)?
What do you want to happen to that asset we each have (our body and its well-being)? What about the care of your children? Is there stepfamily in the picture now? If you were to experience unexpected surgery or possibly coma, who will the hospital recognize to look out for your medical interests legally? More importantly, who is to legally look out for what you want? The doctor or nursing staff don't know your medical issues or your wishes. Who should be contacted or when?
And worst case scenario, in the event of your death, what about those documents and preferences that might not have been discussed with those close to you?
Regardless of marital status, net worth, age, gender, city or country living; we make decisions daily to protect self, partner, children, etc. These include the best grocery choices, home needs, work issues and paycheck, vehicle needs, and recreational plans.
But what if you're not here? We can be in an induced coma or deceased. Some go quickly, some slowly. But it is too obvious that fellow residents of all ages are passing away.
Beyond the grieving, do your loved ones know your wishes; how to go forward, necessary documents; and what they need? So often I hear a spouse shrug it off to their spouse - they take care of all of that.
Not to be morbid but death is part of life.
Have you checked the accuracy of listed beneficiaries for all your checking, retirement, stock, and insurance accounts? I mean physically check them. Are they accurate? If you have a will, has it been updated within at least the last five years or since you moved from another state? What about at least the minimal advance directive documents? Getting and understanding current resources is an essential place to start!
If you or a loved one can't say yes to each question, call Pine River Public Library at 884-2222 to make your reservation to attend the upcoming Estate Planning class series. The Pine River Library is sponsoring Colorado State University Extension to present Legally Secure Your Financial Future March 9, 16 and 23.
Not only will there be some critical key resources and thought provoking information, the Attorney at Law specializing in Estate Planning and physician clarifying advance directives should not be missed!