New Year, new goals and plans... January brings new opportunity and hope, and also endings - January sees the highest level of divorce filings and death for the year. So far this January we have lost a few of your esteemed physician colleagues, who I will miss. Which brings us to today's necessary topic - End of Life Planning. A surprising number of us do not have the below areas cemented. If you do not address, disposition of your assets/estate will be handled for you, and likely not in a way you would have preferred, and with greater hassle and aggravation for your loved ones.
- Last Will & Testament; Trusts, as needed
- If you do not leave a Will or Trusts (as needed) to set forth how you wish your assets to be disposed of, then if you die with assets, the State will dictate distribution of those assets in accordance with law - which may take more time than you would have preferred and not your desired outcome.
- A trust will come into play if you have people or things you wish to name a person to oversee the care or maintenance of - for instance, children requiring supervision or financial oversight, or pet or asset.
- Healthcare Proxy and Elections Related to End of Life Care
- Executing and maintaining where this can be found - a copy with your attorney, a copy with family - serves to empower the people you designate to effectuate decisions related to your care you elect. Without it, your family and you may be left in a position where people are deciding in ways you would not have preferred.
- NYS Form located here - https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/1430.pdf
- NJ Form located here - https://www.nj.gov/health/advancedirective/documents/proxy_directive.pdf
- Florida Form located here - https://palmbeach.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/clinical-and-nutrition-services/registration-forms-clinic-services/_documents/health-care-advance-directives-english.pdf
- we also have a tailored form we populate when we compile estate planning
- Burial Plot purchased, or other wishes (cremation, etc (just read about human composting?)) conveyed to authorized persons
- You may not have addressed and can be vexing to leave to the last minute.
- Life/Disability Insurance considered and potentially purchased - typically I see clients with a blend of investment strategies - on one side of the spectrum I see heavy investments and on the other side I see savers and insurance buyers and then most of us sit somewhere in the middle. Best contact to work through your approach for a best outcome/return for you and your family is a financial planner with a straightforward fee structure - to make sure incentives are aligned. I have a few individuals I have seen work over the years I trust. Let me know if you would like a referral.
- Intended Beneficiaries named on accounts and insurance policies
- this is Very important - the assets you do have - make sure you have clear delineated transfer of title set up so you can avoid Probate where possible. Probate is the court process for passing of title where title is not delineated clearly. You can name joint account holders, life insurance beneficiaries, etc to avoid probate.
For questions or to review assets, we can set a time to chat and see if any structures are recommended for you. To set a time to chat, please email Taryn at TCrimi@Kirschenbaumesq.com.