When I first started at the Donald Law Office I was asked to watch a video called The 7 Threats to Your Family Security. The video presentation was prepared by David Zumpano an attorney in New Hartford, New York in 2009. The video provides great advice, instruction, and education to those who want to learn more about the value of estate planning. The stated 7 Threats are the most common reasons many people don’t get involved in estate planning.

  • Losing Control of Your Stuff- What is your estate? It’s everything you own which includes your house, car, even your checking account as a few examples. The main concerns are who’s in control? Who gets the benefit? When? It’s a scary thought to think that someone else would be in control of your assets, that’s the number one reason to be involved in estate planning!
  • Not Knowing the Law- Many people are not given enough education on the law and don’t realize the consequences of ill plans or failure to plan ahead. Type of legal ownership- What is a will, health care power of attorney, power of attorney, and living will? What is probate? What is a trust? How does legal ownership affect you and your estate plan? There are many types of legal ownership which may include: Joint, Beneficiary designated death ( IRA, 401-K, Life insurance, Annuity, POD- payable on death, TOD- transfer on death)

Will- names who gets your “stuff” and who’s in charge, controls only what you die owning, a will always goes through probate!

Probate- it’s a legal process to prove whether a will in valid, control is with the court, it’s a public matter, costly, and time effective

Trust- in place of a will, avoids probate, gives you control of who you choose to receive your assets, the timing, and distribution

  • Now Knowing Your Predators- Government, IRS, Family, Nursing Homeit’s a smart decision to have a back plan so that you can protect you and your family against creditors and predators
  • Your Health Fails- You never know when you could get injured, become ill, or have a life threatening disease. It’s always best to prepare for the unknown.
  • Fail to Plan When You Can- This may include even a “basic” plan such as a will, power of attorney, and/or health care power of attorney
  • Fail to work with Qualified Professionals- It’s always best to work with a professional who has the credentials, education, and reputation that your needs will be met. It’s also always best to work with someone you know you can trust.
  • Not Knowing the Costs- Estate Planning is not the cheapest investment but its well worth it. By planning ahead it will help ease these financial burdens which would cost much more than the one-time payment of estate planning. Estate planning creates a sense of peace for your family and yourself to know that your needs will be met