Most people would probably say that planning ahead is generally a good idea. However, when it comes to what might happen at the end of their own lives, most people do not plan ahead, even though there are very good reasons to do so.
Ask any probate attorney or doctor whether people should plan ahead for what will happen at the end of their lives, and the answer will almost certainly be yes. Nevertheless, most Americans do not follow the advice of these experts who deal with end-of-life scenarios on a daily basis.
Survey after survey reveals that most Americans do not have estate plans. Recently, the Huffington Post published “5 reasons to Plan Ahead for the End-of-Life.” A doctor gives reasons why you should plan ahead, including:
- Financial Legacy – If you do not have an estate plan, then your estate will be divided according to a default law that determines who gets what. Any wishes that you have about what will happen to your assets will be disregarded.
- Minor Children – Planning ahead allows you to determine who will be the guardian of your minor children instead of allowing a court to have the sole say in the matter.
- End-of-Life Care – If you plan ahead with advanced medical directives as part of your estate plan, then you can decide what care and treatments doctors will give you in your final days.
- How You Want to be Remembered – If you want a particular type of funeral, you can plan ahead for it and make arrangements.
- Make Things Easier on Your Family – Anytime a loved one passes away is stressful enough for family members. If you do not plan ahead, you add to that stress exponentially.
Just like you turn to your doctor to monitor your health, consult an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure you have all of the above matters covered.