Estate Planning For Our Loved Ones
Estate Planning for Our Loved Ones
By Matthew A. Ferri, Esq. It’s Saint Valentine’s Day! Valentine’s is one of those special days of the year where we go out of our way to show our loved ones how much we truly care for them. We share our appreciation with family, friends, significant others, and anyone else in our life we admire. It can be expressed through flowers, a box of chocolates, a handwritten card, or even something as simple as a hug.
We all enjoy sending and receiving those little tokens of affection to our loved ones. But in addition to these gifts one day out of the year, it is important to plan for the long term as well. Preparing an estate plan might not be the most romantic of gifts but it can be one of the most heartfelt or meaningful.
How Estate Planning Should Work
Estate planning at its core should be a personalized and thoughtful process. You should feel every aspect is covered and your plan should be set up in a way that works for you. For instance, do your loved ones know how you would like to be cared for? Some of our clients find that one of the hardest parts of our process can be their wishes for their living wills and final arrangements.
Decisions such as if they would like to receive certain treatments like CPR or artificial nutrition; if they would rather be cared for in a facility or at home; if they have a burial or cremation preference and if they already have a plot paid for. All this information can make sure your loved ones are able to properly care for you and follow your wishes. It can eliminate stress and fights amongst family because you’re proactively settling how you would approach various scenarios. If any of these scenarios occur your loved ones can act without delay.
Protecting and Providing for Your Loved Ones
An estate plan should also cover your loved ones. For example, it should include how to best protect your children when they inherit. Would it be beneficial for them to inherit in a way that includes safeguards against creditors or potential outlaws? Are they at a point in their life where they are fiscally responsible, or would they gain value from a form of financial training before they gain control of what you leave them? Do you have any life lessons or experiences you would like to pass along in addition to what you leave them? Having these kinds of considerations in place can take a traditional, bare-bones estate plan to a comprehensive plan that truly works for you and your loved ones. One that will continue to work as you age and circumstances change in your life.
Changes In Your Life
A well thought out estate plan should cover those changes in your life. It should be adaptable while keeping you in control throughout new children, divorces, aging, re-marriages, incapacity, and death. It should also make it easy for the individuals you’ve named in successor roles to step into those positions with little setbacks. As you transition throughout life, your plan should move with you and remain personalized to your needs. Our office offers not only comprehensive plans but also programs to keep your estate plan up-to-date with life changes. We help to prepare your loved ones to take on potentially new responsibilities.
For more information about aging and planning proactively, please contact our office at (248) 409-0256. We offer a complimentary initial consultation to learn more about our process.
About the Author
Matthew A. Ferri, J.D., M.B.A., is the Founder and Principal of Life Focus Planning, a Michigan based estate planning law firm. He is an estate planning attorney with offices in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and Shelby Township, Michigan.