Estate Planning Enemy No. 1: Procrastination

"If you do not have an estate plan, the courts or someone else is going to decide what happens to your property," said Nellie Lamers, family financial education specialist with University of Missouri Extension. Is that your plan?Public enemy

Houston (MO) Herald's recently published article, "Establish an estate plan before death comes knocking," says that one more reason to have an estate plan is to decide how to handle the care for your minor children if you and your spouse both pass away. You need to talk to an experienced estate planning attorney about the guardianship laws in your state and how you should set up a plan for this situation.

It is easy to put off these tough decisions by thinking we have plenty of time, but the truth is that we really don't know how much time we're going to have.

It's also easy for disagreements and misunderstandings to occur when someone passes away, particularly when the ownership of assets isn't clear. A professionally drafted will and other estate planning documents can eliminate much of this stress and heartache. The cost of settling an estate may be high, but it's even higher if an estate plan isn't in place.

If you make a plan, let your family know about it and get it in writing. If you do this, you can help avoid a lot of stress and misunderstandings.

The first step is to take an inventory of everything you own and your debts to create a net worth statement. You should think about estate asset transfer methods, including, right of survivorship for title, non-probate transfers, wills, trusts, and gifts. Make an appointment with an estate planning attorney to review all of this.

The main enemy of estate planning is procrastination. Start working on your plan right now! You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: estate planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.  However, proper estate planning is not a do-it-yourself project.  Why not call us for a complimentary consultation at 757-259-0707. 

Reference: Houston (MO) Herald (October 10, 2015) "Establish an estate plan before death comes knocking"


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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
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Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.