Estate planning is often looked at as something that only “old people” need to be concerned about, but is this perception accurate? The reality is that it is not because people of all ages die every day. Yes, it is true that the average lifespan in the United States right now is 78 years, but that is indeed an average and it is not some type of guarantee. If you were to pass away without an estate plan you clearly will not be around to suffer the consequences. When you gamble without one expecting to have plenty of “advance warning” is your family who is being put at risk.
Virtually every time you visit a news website or turn on the television you hear about people passing away in accidents before their time. In fact younger people are more likely to perish or become seriously injured in accidents than those who are older. With this in mind it is important to understand the fact that the modern estate plan has an incapacity component.
If you were to fall into a vegetative state that the doctors deemed terminal and irreversible, would you want to be kept alive indefinitely via the use of artificial life support systems? This is a serious matter, and if you do not have an estate plan in place that includes the proper advance health care directives the decision will be left in the hands of your loved ones. This is a very difficult position to put someone in without leaving behind any input as to your own wishes should such a fate befall you.
The reality is that estate planning is something that is relevant to every responsible, self-supporting adult. If you do not have an estate plan in place at present, now would be a good time to arrange for a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney to make sure that your interests and those of your family are protected.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.