When people ask me what areas of law do I practice, one of the areas I tell them is estate planning. The most common reaction I get..."Oh, I don't have enough stuff to worry about making an estate plan." Another favorite of mine is, "I'm too young to worry about it." These people are wrong on both counts. Estate planning isn't about how much stuff you have or how old you are. It's about planning for that unexpected disaster that seems to strike too many of us. Here are three basic questions to ask yourself to determine if you need an estate plan:
1. If something were to happen to the both of us what would happen to our child or children?
2. If we're not capable, who would handle our financial affairs?
3. If my spouse isn't around and I'm not capable, who would make medical decisions for me?
These are three questions that everyone should have an answer for, but sadly most don't. Estate planning is about the security of knowing that if that unexpected disaster hits, your family will be taken care of and given the chance to mourn without the headaches of trying to figure out what to do.
My advice...at the bare minimum every family should have a will, a durable power of attorney for financial matters, and a durable power of attorney for medical decisions.