Many conversations on estate planning center around whether you might needs a trust and whether it should be revocable or irrevocable. But an issue that destroys families is having to make healthcare decisions and legal and financial decisions without knowing your wishes. In many cases, families don’t fight over the money, they fight over what they think you would have wanted. The kids want to be sure they carry out your wishes, but they have different ideas of what your wishes are. Living wills and powers of attorney grant legal authority to those you choose to make health care, legal and financial decisions for you, but they generally do not provide instructions on how to use that authority, which often leads to family controversy and frustration.
If you really want to protect your family, you’re the only one who can do it. But first you have to get educated on the options you have available and how you can tell your loved ones your wishes. This ensures there is no fighting, and, more importantly, no heartbreak because one of your loved ones had to make decisions whether you live or die, without knowing what would have wanted. Next time you wonder what estate planning is all about, it’s simple, it’s all about family!
If you want to learn more, join me at my next estate planning workshop.