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The Heritage Law Center, LLC Blog

Being Prepared for the Unpredictability of Life

POSTED ON: March 19, 2020

“The only thing predictable about life is its unpredictability.”
–Quote from the movie “Ratatouille”

Current health concerns have clearly demonstrated how unpredictable life can be. We’re all preparing ourselves by buying the necessary items we’ll need in our homes. It’s also important to be prepared by doing or reviewing your estate planning.

In an effort to help you take that first step, we’re offering a free, initial consultation by phone or video conference. This way you can start the process without even leaving the comfort of your home.

Here are the documents you should consider:

Will: A will is a legal document that directs who will receive your property upon your death, and it appoints a legal representative (“executor”) to carry out your wishes. Reviewing and updating your will is a critical step in every stage of life especially when big life events happen like a divorce, a new baby, death in the family, or a remarriage. Name guardians for your children so you have a say about who will raise your children if you aren’t there. Without a will, the courts will decide what happens to your kids and your assets if you pass away.

Revocable Trust: In the event you become incapacitated, this will allow for easier management of the assets in your trust and will help your assets avoid probate if you pass away. A trust can also hold assets to be managed for a minor if you have young children or other young beneficiaries. If you have a trust, do you need to update your beneficiaries and how they are to receive the property? Also, you need to make sure that you’ve transferred your assets into the trust for the trust to work for you.

Durable Power of Attorney: This allows a person you trust to manage your finances as well as business and legal matters in the event you become unable to do so yourself. That means they can take money out of your bank account, pay your bills, and even make court appearances for you until you recover and are able to handle your own affairs.

Health Care Proxy: Choose someone you trust to make medical decisions for you in case you become incapacitated. It allows your health care team and loved ones to know what kind of care you want.

Living Will: A living will works in conjunction with a health care proxy by expressing your wishes as to how your designated agent should proceed in specific circumstances. Do you want life-prolonging treatment if you have a terminal illness? Do you want respirators to help you breathe?

You should also review your beneficiary designations for assets such as bank accounts, IRAs, life insurance, and annuities since those go directly to your beneficiaries upon your passing (unless you’ve made your revocable living trust the beneficiary). Are the beneficiaries still the ones you want to leave money to? Has a beneficiary predeceased you?

Sometimes life can bring unexpected storms. We’re here to help you be prepared for them by working with you to get your estate plan in place, so you and your family will be protected. Doing your estate planning with us will be quicker and easier than you think, and you’ll then be able to enjoy peace of mind. Call us today at 617.299.6976 or send an email to mkarr@maheritagelawcenter.com to schedule a confidential, no-cost consultation.