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Protect What Comes First and What Comes Last

When my husband and I were in our 20s, we didn’t have what anyone would consider an ‘estate.’ We lived paycheck to paycheck and had a mortgage on a small house. We did, however, have two priceless assets that provided good reasons for us to make a will—our children.

No one likes to consider the prospect of tragedy striking, especially when children are young, but according to this article in the Lodi News Sentinel, “Planning for what comes last,” estate planning is especially important for families just starting out. When the children grow up, estate planning is important to protect the children, making their lives easier, when the time comes to pass assets along.

Think of an estate plan as a gift for the next generation, as is making funeral plans in advance. You can’t assume that your adult children will know what you want for your funeral and you don’t want them to have to make decisions during a time of great sadness.

These are gifts, that parents who love their children can give: taking care of the business side of their lives and their deaths, so that a difficult time is less painful.

Once you have worked with an elder law attorney to prepare all the necessary documents and made funeral plans, the next step is to share that information with your heirs.

It’s not an easy conversation to have. Most of us tend to keep that side of our lives private from our kids, no matter how old we become.  However, sharing this information can keep families from fighting in the future.

It is not easy to know how much different members of the family can handle and who can be trusted with what information while you are living. There are times when people who appear completely selfless, suddenly become greedy when an inheritance is being probated. It’s hard to anticipate this. However, there are several things that you can do now to make it easier for those you love.

  • Have a will and if appropriate, a trust, created with an estate planning attorney. Don’t neglect a power of attorney for health and for finances.
  • Make funeral plans and tell your family about those plans.
  • Make an end-of-life plan. Don’t leave it to others to make these difficult decisions, if you know what you want to have done.
  • Plan for your pets, in case they outlive you.
  • Protect your digital assets by obtaining the correct information for all your social platforms, so your loved ones are empowered to access and close accounts after your death.

If you are among those who think “If I don’t make a plan for death, maybe I won’t die,”—you share that idea with many. However, the sad truth is if you don’t make a plan, your children will have to deal with an expensive and stressful situation.

Reference: Lodi News-Sentinel (July 1, 2018) “Planning for what comes last”

Hear From Our Clients
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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

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

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

Josh Nelson, and his staff, have been amazingly helpful to our family. The ins and outs of nursing homes, the rules and regulations that govern Medicare and Medicaid are daunting and the folks at Nelson Elder Care Law have been informative, responsive, and above all, empathetic. I cannot emphasize enough how their service has taken a weight off of our shoulders especially during a world pandemic that has targeted nursing homes across our country. I highly recommend retaining Josh and his firm!

- Marcia

I had a simple legal question to them that I needed answered and they very helpful in giving me the information I needed. I highly recommend them and will reach out to them if I need more advice or assistance. Thank you for taking your time to just answer a couple of questions I had!

- Ben