National Estate Planning Awareness Week, October 19-25, 2015-Are You Protected?

In 2008 National Estate Planning Awareness week was adopted as the third week of October after the growing concern that more than half of Americans, an estimated 56%, do not have an estate plan in place, making estate planning a critically overlooked component of financial wellness. This creates hardship, financial or otherwise, that can be diminished by advanced planning. National Estate Planning Awareness Week was adopted on September 27, 2008 to help consumers understand estate planning and its need, along with how best to create a qualified team of professionals to assist in the planning process.

“Estate planning is a thoughtful process and not merely a single legal transaction,” says Bratton Scott Estate Planning Attorney Charles Bratton. “Establishing an estate plan is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

This week is a strong reminder to check whether your estate plan is up to date and you and your loved ones are protected!

  • Do you have a Will or a Trust in place?
  • Has your Will or Trust been professionally reviewed in the last two years?
  • Have you named guardians of your minor children?
  • Does your current Health Care Power of Attorney permit the person of your choosing (spouse, child, family) to make emergency health care decisions for you in the event you are unable to do so?
  • Does your current estate plan give instructions for your care and the care of your loved ones in the event of disability?
  • Are you certain that your current estate plan will minimize possible federal and state estate taxes at your death, including taxes on your house, life insurance and IRAs?.
  • If you have a Revocable Living Trust in place as part of your estate plan, is your trust fully funded so that your family can avoid the delays and expenses of probate?
  • Does your estate plan protect your children’s inheritance in the event your surviving spouse chooses to remarry?
  • Does your current estate plan provide creditor and lawsuit protection for assets passed to your surviving spouse or children?
  • Are you confident that your executor, power of attorney, and successor trustee are prepared to act on your behalf when asked to?

If you answer “No” or “I don’t Know” to any of these questions, we encourage you to contact our office for a free 30 min. consultation. 856-857-6000, option 1.