Berman & Asbel, LLP

Protecting Your Legacy With An Estate Plan

Even though Memorial Day is now behind us, the messages of the holiday are important and can last long after people return to work. One message is that a person's death affects loved ones long after he or she has passed; even though there is not a government holiday to honor everyone's passing, family and friends will be affected by the tragic loss for years to come.

With this in mind, we want to encourage our readers to take the time to think about a few things with regard to the legacy they are leaving behind as well as the steps they can take to protect it.

  1. Leaving unanswered questions can be painful. Closure is extraordinarily hard to find in light of a loved one's death, particularly if the death is unexpected. Adding more unresolved matters to the mix only makes it worse. Creating an estate plan that lists and distributes all your assets and specifies your requests for funeral arrangements can go a long way in helping your loved ones get through a difficult time.
  2. Failing to make plans can lead to confusion. Without a will and other documents providing guidance, your family can wind up fighting with each other if they disagree about what should happen with your estate. This can be very difficult if you are incapacitated and someone else needs to make medical or financial decisions on your behalf.
  3. Strangers can end up making some difficult - and crucial - decisions if you don't. For instance, if you do not have an estate plan that species who you want to act as guardian of your kids should you and/or your spouse become incapacitated, that decision is left in the hands of the courts who do not know your family and friends as well as you do.

Without an estate plan, you could be leaving behind a painful, confusing and frustrating legacy.

This does not have to happen, though. You can choose to work with an attorney to create a comprehensive, clear estate plan that provides critical guidance and closure for your loved ones. 

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