October 30, 2014

Estate Planning for Stress Avoidance and Stress Reduction

SMART ESTATE PLANNING TO ELIMINATE STRESS

We all worry about the future. Because we can’t predict or control it. The best thing we can do is get ready for it. Drafting your will is a great way to eliminate unnecessary stress about the unknown. By putting in writing what our plans and wishes are, we reduce worry for ourselves and our families about the future.

Think about it, we are stressed out about the people and things in our lives that are important to us. We want to make sure our family is taken care of. That usually means providing shelter, food, education, and medical care for them. But we all know that we need to take care of them in other ways too.

The ultimate care you can take of your family is providing for them in your estate plan. Every one has an estate no matter how big or how small. When you take the time to have a will made, you are putting things in writing, organizing, clarifying things, and planning – these are all stress busters. We never know what’s going to happen or when – but what we can do is prepare for the unknown and what we can control. Recall the Serenity Prayer in which we ask for the courage to change the things we can change.

Planning Will Reduce Our Stress
Often what prevents us from doing what we need to do and getting a will put in place is the consideration of our own deaths and mortality. It is been said that what we fear the most, and worry about the longest, has already happened to us. That is, the worst part of putting off something important (like drafting our wills) is often the constant worrying about it and the guilt we feel from procrastinating – not the event itself. Getting a will drafted can be quick and easy.

Yes, planning an estate is pain-free! Generally, the procedure is as follows: you begin by filling out a simple questionnaire for an attorney, she will then ask you a few questions, and you will meet with her once or twice to review your documents. And then it is done. You leave with a sense of accomplishment that you have done the ultimate good thing for your family. You can rest assured that you have provided for your family and can take a deep breath and exhale. A weight will have been lifted from your shoulders you might not have known was even there. You can go on living your life knowing that you have eliminated a huge unknown and that you have a plan in place for your future.

Planning Reduces Stress for Our Family
But not only do you reduce stress for yourself, you are also reducing stress for your family in one of the most stressful times they will face. These are people you love and care about. People who have lovingly taken care of you. People you raised or who helped raise you. People you don’t want bad things to happen to. By planning things out for yourself before hand, you are helping your family members reduce the stress that they are already going to have during the time of your illness and at your passing.

You are leaving crystal clear, legally enforceable instructions to them about who is going to be in charge of disposing of your assets (this is called an executor) and who will be receiving exactly what from your assets (this is called inheritance). When you give people directions they can follow, you are eliminating stress for them too. These instructions are especially important to people who have been married more than once, have children from different relationships, who have family members who do not get along, who are single, or who have children under 18 years old.

Planning Ahead Saves Money
Another aspect of stress avoidance with estate planning is preparing for the possibility that you may not just die but at some point be injured or suffer from some form of incapacity. Without planning, this may leave you helpless and at the mercy of people and institutions that don’t know you or what you would want.

This is stressful for two reasons: First, failure to put someone in charge of your health care creates the most financially devastating penalty for improper estate planning there is. It’s expensive because, when we don’t take the time to create for ourselves the proper documents that tell the world who speaks for us during this time, the court has to hold hearings, appoint lawyers who can charge up to $400.00 dollars an hour, have experts testify, appoint guardians who may not know what they are doing, and publicly review every private aspect of your medical care and hygiene.

Who pays for all of this? YOU! And at that point there is nothing you can do about it. This is stressful! It ultimately takes away from the money you worked so hard to accumulate during your life which you wanted to leave to your family. Sometimes instead of an inheritance you are leaving behind bills! And this is exactly what people will talk about and shake their heads about when you are gone. No one wants this to be their permanent legacy.

Planning Ahead Keeps Us from Being a Burden to our Family
Another reason health care planning as a part of estate planning is important is that without it you and your family are distracted by the legal process and can’t just focus on your health care and getting you better and healthier.

Conclusion
So, in conclusion, the best thing you can do to avoid all of these stressors is simply to call us. We will not bite – and want to help you create peace in your life with our expertise. The process is short and the cost is well worth avoiding all of the unnecessary strife, interfamily litigation, confusion about your wishes, public exposure of your privacy, and avoidable expense that come when we don’t plan for our future.

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