Why Do Smart People Fail to Plan?

AbeWhat do Abe Lincoln, Bob Marley and Prince have in common? You guessed it…they all died without an estate plan.

While we will never know exactly why these smart people failed to plan, it is quite possible that their reasoning will be the same as it is for most people: just “too busy.” They were busy with life’s daily demands on their time. Also, many people don't want to think about it or take the time to sit down and get it done.

People don’t realize how much can be accomplished in a very short time with an experienced estate planning attorney. Similarly, they also don’t understand the issues that can pop up if they don't have a plan in place.  You can request a complimentary consultation online to begin the important process of establishing your estate plan or you can register for one of our workshops on this topic or any of the other topics of interest to you and your family.  

While you may hear about income and investments at every turn these days, you may not hear about important topics like taxes, health care, asset protection and leaving a legacy for your family, friends, and charities.

Be certain that you’ve made every effort to express how you want your assets distributed when you die. Take a look at these four basic strategies and discuss them with an experienced estate planning attorney to help you avoid an estate planning mishap.

  • Get that will in place. A will directs your executor about your wishes and spells out how you want your assets distributed when you pass away.
  • Consider a living trust. This can protect your assets and can help your estate avoid probate. While you may believe you don't need a living trust, it can help make certain your assets are managed according to your wishes even in the event that you’re no longer able to manage them on your own. In addition, you can sign a health care directive and power of attorney so those you trust can make decisions about your physical and financial well-being. Finally, trusts are not public court records so your affairs remain private.
  • Title your accounts appropriately. Get that trust in place. This lets assets pass directly to the beneficiaries named by the Trustmaker. Also, make sure you’ve properly named  beneficiaries and contingent beneficiaries on IRAs and other tax-qualified accounts so that they remain in trust for asset protection. "We can help you with that".
  • Think about life insurance. A policy is used to provide a death benefit for your family and can augment the legacy you pass down. It can help cover final expenses—like funeral, burial and medical bills.

Do it now. While your picture on the five-dollar bill might be a nice lasting tribute, your family is more likely to appreciate a comprehensive estate plan much more.  

Reference: Kiplinger’s (August 2016) “4 Strategies to Avoid an Estate-Planning Mishap”


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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.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

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.