The Time to Plan is Now and Not Later

An article from the Chicago Sun Times titled “Estate Planning: Now’s the time to prepare,”  says that details can make the difference between a time when grief takes a back seat to logistics and a time when loved ones can focus on a major life-altering event.

As soon as you have assets to pass down to loved ones, you need to start planning your estate. If you start in your early 20s, it will become a habit and an on-going process. 

Even if you don’t have a lot of assets, it doesn’t mean that you’re excused from planning for the worst situation.

Whether you do a basic estate plan, like putting a will, powers of attorney or a health care directive in place or if you need complex trusts and tax sheltering strategies, having an estate plan means you have a voice in what happens, even if you aren’t able to convey your wishes.

What do you need?

  • Everyone needs a will.
  • Everyone should review their beneficiary designations every few years to make sure the people named are still the people intended to receive the proceeds. That includes bank accounts, insurance policies, IRAs and more.
  • Everyone needs health care and financial power of attorneys to outline their wishes.

If you are a parent, in most states, you need a will to name guardians for your minor children. You also need a 529 College Savings plan to start saving for college, which comes up faster than you can imagine.

You may need a trust, which offers more privacy than a will, because it keeps details about your private belongings and assets out of probate court.

You also need to organize your digital assets, as well as your financial and physical assets. Keep a list of your accounts and passwords. Most digital platforms from Facebook to Google to your financial institutions, have policies about what happens to the accounts and who has access.

Keep a list of your advisors and their contact information. That includes your estate planning attorney, CPA and financial advisor. You may want to have them meet your family members, so they are more comfortable with these advisors, when the time comes for them to work together.

As you move through the various stages of life, your plan will change.  However, you should get started now, so the process becomes second nature. Your family will thank you.

Reference: Chicago Sun Times (Sep, 17, 2018) “Estate Planning: Now’s the time to prepare”

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.

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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