National Estate Planning Awareness Week 2021 is October 18-24, 2021. National Estate Planning Awareness week began in 2008 as a way to raise awareness about the importance of estate planning. House Resolution 1499, adopted on September 27, 2008 by the U.S. House of Representatives, identified several important factors that create the need for this additional awareness, which include:
It is estimated that at least 40% of Americans do not have up-to-date estate plans;
Many Americans are unaware that the lack of estate planning may cause assets to be disposed of to unintended parties through probate; and
Careful estate planning can prevent families from being subjected to complex legal processes requiring a great deal of time and effort, and can reduce confusion or even animosity among family members upon the death of a loved one.
An estate plan is intended to be a strategy that will help to maintain your financial security during your lifetime and ensure the intended transfer of assets at death. Estate plans should be crafted to take into consideration the unique circumstances of the client and the potential costs/difficulty of different methods.
There are several tools that can be used to accomplish estate planning objectives, which include preparing Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, and similar documents. There are also several viable alternatives to these documents (i.e. beneficiary designations, planned giving) that can accomplish the goals of providing for and protecting family members.
The estate planning process can not only ensure that your wishes are carried out upon death - good estate planning also ensures that powers of attorney are in place, both for financial and medical decisions, to identify trusted individuals who can act for you in the event you become disabled or incapacitated.
A good estate plan starts with getting educated and talking about the documents and strategies that can be used to make sure you are protected and your wishes are carried out. This conversation might start with your attorney, accountant, financial advisor, or other trusted professional.
At Lumbertown Law, we pride ourselves on approaching each estate planning conversation with the goal of finding the right estate planning tools and strategies for each individual client. We recognize that estate planning can be a daunting task, and planning for your death or disability may not be particularly pleasant. That's why we strive to get to know you and your circumstances before we make recommendations and before we begin drafting documents. Our flat-fee structure also allows you to ask any and all questions you might have about the estate planning process so you know that the documents and strategies you select will carry out your wishes.
If you have yet to begin the estate planning process, or it has been several years since you have reviewed or updated your estate plan, contact us today to get this process started!