Planes, Trains and Wills
Recently within a period of days, we received 4 or 5 phone calls from clients requesting updates to their beneficiaries, wills and trusts. Why?
The common thread was this: everyone had upcoming plans to travel overseas.
So why does flying over the Atlantic Ocean force people to contemplate their end-of-life plans? While a quick trip across the country to California or Boston does not?
After being in the business for 30 years, I find the study of human behavior fascinating. What sparks fear in us?
It truly is the unknown: uncertainty, the unusual, being outside of our comfort zone.
We are comfortable driving daily on the highways and crazy side roads, even though statistics tell us the odds of being killed in an accident are 1 in 113, while the odds of dying in a plane crash are 1 in 9,737. Perhaps it’s the illusion of being in control behind the wheel versus sitting in the cabin of a plane. Or maybe it’s because we’re comfortable with the idea of flying to Boston, New York, or LA because they are parts of the U.S., and therefore a part of us.
Not long ago we lost a dear client at the age of 67 with no warning or signs, and it brought us some comfort knowing that all estate documents and titles of accounts were in good order. It certainly reduced the burden of working through the estate process with the family.
My point is this: Have you thought about your wills and trusts and whether they are up-to-date?
Do you have a Health Surrogate, and is it the same person you would trust today?
Do you have an updated Power of Attorney?
Don’t wait until you are planning a trip to Europe; over dinner tonight, talk to your spouse, your partner, your family, yourself.
What would happen if you suddenly died or were incapacitated?
These are hard conversations but so important!
Your greatest gift to your family can be the time you spend today to plan for a clean and proper transfer of assets.
At Financial Strategies Group, one tool we use is Five Wishes to help our clients. Five Wishes is an easy-to-use legal document written in everyday language that lets adults of all ages plan how they want to be cared for in case they become seriously ill. It is America’s most popular living will with more than 23 million copies in circulation.
Five Wishes helps you express how you want to be treated if you are seriously ill and unable to speak for yourself. It is unique among all other living will and health agent forms because it speaks to all a person’s needs: medical, personal, emotional and spiritual. Five Wishes also helps structure discussions with your family and physician.
Call our office if you want a copy of Five Wishes for your own personal use, and certainly be in touch if you have any questions.