Far too many people put off the estate planning process for way too long and end up leaving behind a mess for their children. This can be literally, legally or financially.
The literal type of mess is the cluttered house, when the adult child must step in to clean out a house of things that have been accumulated after a parent passes away. However, the legal and financial mess may be associated with neglecting to put together a comprehensive elder law and estate plan in the event disability or death. Many times, when a loved one suffers a devastating disability or accident that ultimately claimed their life, this was unexpected.
Failing to do the necessary preparation to make it easier for your loved ones to take quick action can put them in a very difficult situation. Many people want their spouse, followed by their children to take over in the event of a disability.
But children or a spouse may be barred from doing so without the proper power of attorney and living will. These are also referred to as advanced directives and enable you to put other people in charge in your life and avoid the hassle of a guardianship proceeding in which a judge makes a decision about your legal guardian.
When you consider how many issues are affected by your willingness to plan ahead, you can make things much easier for your loved ones by stipulating an estate and elder law plan now that considers your needs as well as their future.