A brief story: In high school trigonometry class, my math teacher used to give us frequent quizzes over basic trigonometry equations and other pre-calculus functions. I vividly recall him pacing up and down the thin aisles of desks (about 20 or 30 students), cradling his hands behind his back, and looking out over the class through his glasses while calling out “take your time,” then “hurry up!” a few seconds later. It was a charming eccentricity if you weren’t knee deep in a math problem, or an annoying interruption if you were racking your brain to remember that math formula you had stayed up late the night before trying to learn.
The changing economic realities, increased life spans, and increasing standards of living are causing many retirees to go on the “hurry-up offense” with retirement planning. There’s a similar phenomenon in estate planning. The tolling of the New Year bells draws closer, you get married and have a child, you get divorced, a relative dies and you receive an inheritance, or you or your spouse get the dreaded grim health news from the doctor. Time to visit your estate planning attorney.
While several “hurry-up offense” estate planning tactics that can be helpful, I recommend confronting these issues when you are healthy and have some time to contemplate how you want your last affairs handled. We all know that it’s best to make big decisions when you’re calm, relaxed, and feeling great. A Will or trust, living will, and durable financial and medical powers of attorney are the estate planning building blocks that every adult needs. Cross an item off your new year’s to do list, or make a new resolution to take care of your estate planning needs this year. Need to do any digital estate planning for your computer, email, Facebook, LinkedIn, online banking, or other valuable electronic information? Have a small business you’re looking to transition, or thinking about family business succession and your kids? We can help with that too. Call or email us any time to set up a convenient appointment and start off 2012 right with the peace of mind that good planning brings.
(c) 2012, Stephen M. Johnson, Esq.