Stop saying everyone knows what you want. Everybody probably doesn’t know. Or in their grief, they may not be able to make the decisions you would have preferred. If you don’t leave written instructions, emotions or unresolved issues can get in the way.
The amount of frustration a family goes through when someone’s affairs are not in order and not in writing is beyond measure. When tragedy strikes or life takes over, the importance of planning is not lost on those who realize there were no plans made. What can you really do after the fact? Proper planning needs to happen now.
For an impassioned voice on the matter and some advice you should heed, be sure to read a recent commentary published in The Washington Post titled “Put your estate plan on paper before it’s too late.”
The author recounts her own experience with her mother, who wasn’t even suffering from old age. Her mother was moved to critical condition after an accident. Unfortunately, the author was left on the other side of a legal wall caused by the lack of a financial durable power of attorney and healthcare directive that might have allowed her to come to aid. Worse still, the mother had actively put-off or refused committing her wishes to paper, and that’s why there was no legal recourse.
If you or a loved one have not committed your financial durable power of attorney and healthcare directive wishes to paper, then here’s one more story to remind you why they are so important.
We plan because there is a reason for certain privacy, healthcare and even probate. It is our own personal responsibility. If nothing else, we plan because when the time comes there are more important things to think about, like the comfort of an ailing loved one or the memory of a recently passed one.
The original article spells out the basics and brings the need to complete your own plan clearly into focus.
Reference: The Washington Post (March 20, 2014) “Put your estate plan on paper before it’s too late”