Wednesday, July 26, 2017

not just for the aged

Last night I attended an End of Life Planning Seminar with The Swenson Law Firm 

Sam Swenson esq taught us about the various kinds of end-of-life planning with their pros and cons.

What I learned -
who needs end of life planning?  Pretty much EVERYONE who has rights/responsibilities.  Unless you are ok with the government making decisions regarding your possessions and dependents, legal battles, long probate
Everyone also needs (oh crud! I forgot the name) but the thing that authorizes someone to act for you if you cannot.  And possibly a separate document in which you say what life prolonging measures you do or do not want when things are dire.  It is a wrenching thing for the family to have to decide life or death.

Shocker - if I finally wrote a will and left my house and pennies to Miriam, the government agencies who have supplemented her health care would show up with a hefty bill and possibly take her off services and she would have to sell the house to pay them and  struggle to re-apply.
A Living Trust seems like the best way to go. 
Do It Yourself End of Life Planning may have unintended consequences because while they are pretty good in some ways, they don't know your situation,  the law for your state etc.
Here's what everyone should do
1. Write down their objectives - what do they want to happen when they die
or when they are incapacitated. (number 2 will help you figure it out maybe)
2. Inventory Assets and Debts
3. Select a professional to help.  Someone who know the laws and ins and outs.  Who can ask you questions and answer questions.
4. Have Legal Documents Prepared
5. Change Titles ! - it is no good to create a trust if you do not change the ownership legally
For you local people.  the Swenson meeting was NO pressure.  Just information. (and nice snacks.and not boring)  He will do an up to an hour FREE personal consultation during which he will not allow you to pay him or sign an agreement.  NO pressure.  They will send you  something if you want to hire him.  (not the thing they are sending me hopefully soon. That is just a worksheet to help you know what you have and what you want.  The agreement would be after the consultation)
I am pretty late to this party.  But I think everyone should consider it if you haven't already.

1 comment:

  1. We are having to deal with this (and our parents) more and more every day. All are in their 70's or 80's.