Lynn, MA United States – March 28, 2022 —
Talking about the subject of death can often persuade most people to put off hard decisions about their estate planning until it is too late, revealed elder law attorney Brendan L. Ward.
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Studies in recent years, including one from AARP, formerly the American Association of Retired Persons, with millions of members aged 50 and over, consistently point to a large percentage of Americans not having an effective estate plan in place.
But with COVID-19 having swept the globe, killing hundreds of thousands, and life’s ability to continually throw unpredictability at us, it is more important now than ever to have an estate plan in place.
Ward, Managing Partner of Cherry Tree Legal, PLLC, in Lynn, MA, commented: “It’s not surprising that many people put off estate planning and being financially prepared to a later date because they don’t want to imagine what their life would look like after they’ve gone.
“It’s crucial to have a robust plan in place about what will happen with your or your family’s assets. This plan should cover both during lifetime and after passing.”
When people are unprepared, problems will pop up such as uncertainty about what assets there are, where they are, how to distribute them, and how to access these assets or essential documentation, he said.
Ward added: “For many, creating an estate plan forces us to confront the end of our lives, but it will also reduce stress and uncertainty for loved ones.”
It would be prudent for married couples to attend financial meetings together during financial and estate planning so they are on the same page and understand what will happen if either becomes incapacitated or passes away. “Going through the process together will also eliminate confusion in the long run,” he added.
With advancing age and health problems, Ward asserted that it makes sense to start the estate planning process now while still physically and mentally healthy. As a first step, people should contact an estate planning and elder law attorney to explain options, and offer customized plans based on their financial situation, family dynamics, plans, and goals.
“Because there are so many factors to take into consideration, setting up estate and financial plans is not black and white,” he elaborated. “Approaching the planning process holistically ensures the plan is thorough and robust.”
“Once an attorney gets a good picture of a client’s finances and estate, they can help them decide how their assets should be split after passing, and who should manage these affairs during their lifetime by assigning a power of attorney.
“So if you’re incapacitated, for instance, you will have already appointed a trusted third party to execute your financial and healthcare decisions,” he concluded. “Whatever the situation, don’t put off estate planning until it is too late.”
Release ID: 89072070
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