It’s certainly easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life: getting the kids where they need to go, putting fires out at work, picking up the groceries, etc. The list goes on and on, and it varies for us all. We’re often lucky to have any time left over to commit to ourselves: simply relaxing, exercising, or going out for a date night with a spouse or significant other. Nonetheless, these are important things to do for our mental and emotional health. This is true not just for us as individuals, but also for the health of our families: we can’t provide the best care for our loved ones if we don’t also take time to care for ourselves.
In that same vein, it is important to also recognize that we can’t fully enjoy any of those moments in our lives if worry and anxiety are ever-present in the back of our minds. For those with families, it is not uncommon to worry about what will happen to our family members and loved ones when we are gone. For most, it is important to ensure that our passing is not any more difficult than necessary for our loved ones. Grief is unavoidable. That grief is often exacerbated by the unwelcome demands required of us to handle the economic and practical consequences of losing our loved ones (i.e., transferring ownership of assets and resolving debts). Being prepared for this morbid occasion with a reliable estate plan, however, can at least mitigate the emotional toll inflicted upon our loved ones when we pass.
Whether you have a young child, an adult child with special needs, or an elderly parent or spouse who relies upon you for their ongoing physical and economic care, it is important to have a legal mechanism in place to ensure that such care continues smoothly upon your passing.
Perhaps you have a business, home, or other significant asset or heirloom that you’d prefer to keep in the family or pass to a lifelong friend. If so, it is important that you have the proper estate planning documents in place to ensure that those objects end up in the right hands.
Whether your purpose is merely to give direction to the assets you leave behind, minimize debt or tax consequences, or provide for an individual with special needs, the attorneys at WhitbeckBennett are here to help.
You may have an unusual family tree, with far more branches and twists in the roots than most. Or, you may not have much of one at all. In either scenario, without an estate plan in place, the fruits of your life’s labor may fall aimlessly to the ground or get snagged by an unexpected limb. Some say: “let the leaves fall where they may”. But when it comes to your life’s enduring legacy, is that really the philosophy you want to espouse? By taking the time now to prepare a Will, Advanced Directive, Power of Attorney, and/or Trust, you can ensure that the apples make it to market (or into the hands of your grandchildren, if you prefer), rather than leaving behind an unkempt orchard of fallen and forgotten fruit.
Seize control of your precious time with friends, family, and loved ones (and don’t forget that invaluable personal time as well for reflection, meditation, prayer, exercise, etc.). With a reliable estate plan in place, you can make the most of those fleeting moments by putting your mind at ease. This act of love is one that endures even when we are gone. Let the attorneys of WhitbeckBennett assist you in preparing an estate plan that allows you to rest easy, knowing that you are prepared for the worst.
Devon Walke is an Associate Attorney at WhitbeckBennett. He was born and raised in Oklahoma, never venturing too far from his hometown of Norman, attending the University of Oklahoma for both undergraduate studies and law school. While in law school, Devon was a member of the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Inn of Court. To learn more about Mr. Walke, click here.