Most of us struggle each day with balancing our work, family and leisure time. We are torn between our demanding jobs, our kids’ play dates, homework, and birthday parties, preparing dinner, cleaning and laundry, spending quality time with our spouse, and if we’re lucky, getting some “me” time at the gym.
Why do we bother? Because we all want the best of everything for our families and ensure that they are well cared for when we are gone.
Most of us do not stop to think about the day after we are gone. We are too busy. But also, we all hope it will happen when we are old and gray, nursed by our great-grandchildren.
Sadly, life has a way of disrupting our plans and we have to be ready. Ready! In order to ensure that our spouse and children can come out of the devastation of losing us, and go back on their own two feet and continue to live in the way we intended them to.
- Do you have a financial back to help them bounce back if you are no longer there to provide?
- Do you know who will be the guardian of your minor children if, G-d forbid, both you and your spouse are gone?
- Do you have a will to ensure that your children will not inherit your large life insurance proceeds when they are 18 and spend it on ridiculous teenage whims?
- Do you have a trust to guaranty the money stays in the family if your spouse re-marries or has other kids?
- Do you have a medical proxy to guide your doctors what to do if you end up hooked up to machines?
- Do you have a power of attorney to allow your spouse to liquidate assets if you become permanently disabled or legally incompetent?
- Do you have a proper tax plan to minimize estate tax exposure that will keep most of your money with your family and not Uncle Sam?
If you do not have these plans in place, it is time to contact an estate planning attorney to make sure that all these issues are addressed.
Yes, it is morbid and depressing to think about the day after. After all, you are young and healthy.
But on the off chance that an unexpected trauma occurs, isn’t protecting your family worth sulking, just for a little while, until you get those papers signed?