Don’t Wait Until a Healthcare Crisis Happens to Draft an Estate Plan
Most people understand the importance of developing an estate plan but think that they have time because they are young or in good health. As such, many people are caught off guard by an unexpected health crisis and attempt to scramble to complete necessary estate planning documents. It is never wise to wait until an emergency to draft an estate plan, though, for a variety of reasons. If you have not yet developed an estate plan, it is in your best interest to speak to a seasoned estate planning attorney as soon as possible.
Why You Should Never Wait Until a Healthcare Crisis Happens to Draft an Estate Plan
There are multiple reasons why you should not wait until a healthcare crisis occurs to draft an estate plan.
First, if you are grappling with significant health concerns, your focus should be on getting better, not on executing an estate plan. If you attempt to create an estate plan while you are attempting to get well, it is likely that you will not devote the energy you should to either venture.
Secondly, depending on the nature of your health issues, you may lack the capacity to execute valid estate planning documents or may be at risk for such accusations going forward. Even if you are of sound mind, you most likely are preoccupied and operating in a heightened emotional state and may lack the time and perspective needed to make reasoned and thought out decisions about issues such as how you would want your estate to be distributed, whether you would like to grant an agent power of attorney, and if so, who to name as the agent, and whether to execute an advance directive.
Third, there is a possibility that if you wait to draft an estate plan, you will succumb to health issues prior to getting a plan in place. While few people want to contemplate their death, it is a reality that many people confronted with sudden health issues die intestate or without a will. Wills, essentially, dictate how people want their assets to be distributed after they die and are the most commonly employed estate planning tool. If a person dies intestate, though, their property will be distributed in accordance with the state’s intestacy laws. Typically, this means that their assets will be given to their closest relatives. While many people would provide for these relatives in their will, that is not always the case. Further, their assets might be divided among their relatives in a manner that they would not choose.
It is also important to note that people who are not related to a person will not inherit from their estate. In other words, stepchildren whom the deceased person did not legally adopt, long-time companions, and close friends will not receive any share of the estate.
Speak to a Capable Estate Planning Attorney Today
People often delay engaging in estate planning until a crisis occurs, but the costs of such delays can be significant. If you want to create an estate plan, it is prudent to speak to a capable estate planning attorney as soon as possible. Call our office at 425-284-3450 or fill out our contact form and we will be in touch to schedule a meeting.