Facing the Worst News and Preparing for the Inevitable

Facing the Worst News and Preparing for the Inevitable

Receiving a terrifying medical diagnosis of a fatal illness, can leave you and your loved ones stunned and afraid. Once the initial shock has subsided and you have put the emotional and medical resources in place, it will be necessary to address the legal aspects, according to a recent article from CNBC titled “When end-of-life planning is suddenly a lot closer than you thought.”

Start by assembling all your financial information in one place. An old-school, loose-leaf binder may be easier for your family, depending on their comfort level with technology. If your family is accustomed to online portals where information is stored, consider the emotional state of shock they will be in. Make it as easy and accessible as possible for you and them.

The information should include your Social Security benefits and pension information. There may be survivor benefits that your family will need to know about.

Include the prior year’s tax returns and a note, as to where your other tax returns can be found.

If you don’t have a will, power of attorney, healthcare directive or any estate planning legal documents in place,  it is now the time to make an appointment with an estate planning attorney.

Another task will be to designate beneficiaries for any financial accounts and insurance policies. Depending on your brokerage house, you may be able to attach a transfer-on-death instruction to your non-retirement accounts.

You can do the same thing with real estate in 27 states. An estate planning attorney will know if this is applicable to your state.

Next, make a list of your liabilities. It should include your mortgage, car loans and credit card debt.

Create a contact list for your family that includes your estate planning attorney, CPA, financial advisor and insurance agent.

Should you pay off your mortgage? This might not always be the best move. Consider the funds available, your tax bracket and the current mortgage. Do you want a family member to be able to live in the house? Your estate planning attorney will be able to run through different scenarios and strategies.

Write a legacy letter. This is not a legal document but a letter that will express your intentions for your will and your wishes for personal property. If it’s not too hard, it is also a place where you can share your wishes for your funeral arrangements.

Reference: CNBC (July 18, 2018) “When end-of-life planning is suddenly a lot closer than you thought.”

Hear From Our Clients

“On the threshold of retirement, we finally decided to quit thinking we could self-prepare the requisite documents. We had previously had only a very simple will. We needed the necessary legal (including updated will) & health care docs but didn’t want to deal with the time & complication of legalese. Cindy made the process relatively painless. She took the time to explain and answer questions without trying to upsell services. We were done in 2 meetings plus the reading of emailed drafts. In addition to preparing the documents, Nelson Eldercare will be there when our adult children need advice on executing the plans we’ve put in place.So glad it’s behind us and would recommend Cindy and her helpful staff.”

- Bonnie

Cindy and her company treat their clients like family. Nelson’s offers clear, direct, and honest guidance in planning for your families security and future. No one wants to actively sit down and make these decisions, but Nelson’s makes this process seamless. I was so impressed with their willingness to answer all questions big or small. So glad I made the decision have them help my mom and dad and now me. You can’t go wrong with Nelson’s Elder Care Law.

- Hope

The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!

- Kerri

I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

- Charlotte

Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.

- Pierce