Taking Care Of Those Who Need It Most
Earlier in my career, I relished the idea of jousting with opposing attorneys in heated courtroom battles, defending the accused from oppressive authorities, government, banks, insurance companies and other Goliaths. I still have those fires, and still advocate for the downtrodden, but these days I let the younger gladiators draw the blood.
Now as I grow older, my perspective has changed.
Taking time to think about the future helps each of us to find peace of mind. As we get older we want to know that our needs will be looked after and that we can really enjoy what should be one of the most wonderful stages on this great journey. I work with countless clients to help them build strong estate plans, so that they can really take stock of their lives and enjoy the fruits of their family and home long into the future. Organizing your affairs properly can produce immense feelings of satisfaction, knowing that those you love most will be well taken care of.
Helping Those Of My Generation Plan For The Future
While the wealth of knowledge my experience brings serves my clients well, I have decided to turn some of my energies to those of my generation with similar issues. It is inevitable that we baby boomers will face disability, illness and most certainly, death.
Each of these topics involves considerable issues that require legal guidance. If not for us, then for those we leave behind and our children.
Planning Your Estate Can Save Your Loved Ones Heartache And Expense
Let me tell you a true story…
Three elderly sisters consulted me to probate the will of their recently deceased brother. They told me that he had sold his home and died with hundreds of thousands of dollars simply left in a bank account. None of the sisters were named on the bank account; they didn’t even know the name of the bank.
To make matters worse, none of them had his will, or even a copy. We were successful in locating the bank and a safe deposit box. We even located his checking account containing a substantial balance.
Still, Uncle Will had left no will.
He had no children, but had ten brothers and sisters. Except for these sisters, the others had all passed away. Many of those deceased siblings had children who survived them, and some of those children had even died — leaving their own children.
Before filing the probate with the court, we had to determine the names of the children of the brothers and sisters of Uncle Will, those which were still alive, and the names and addresses of the children of those who had died. It took months to ascertain just who and where all of Uncle Will’s heirs were. We had to get an independent attorney appointed to represent the interests of two heirs who could just not be located. Two others were in jail, and one was simply incompetent.
Needless to say, great time and expense was expended and incurred for attorney’s fees, heir locating service and attorney ad litem fees. Finally, the distribution of a small fraction of Uncle Will’s estate went to his impoverished surviving sisters. The children of the deceased siblings shared lesser amounts, and the children of the deceased nieces and nephews received yet smaller shares.
Had he left a will, we believe that Uncle Will would have left his entire estate to his younger sister, as she was his caregiver in his declining years… or maybe he would have directed distribution among his three surviving sisters; we’ll never know. I am quite sure of one thing: Uncle Will would not have directed distribution to obscure relatives, many of whom he had never even met.
I tell you this story with the hope that your family will not suffer the expense and delay that Uncle Will’s did. A small investment, taking time to discuss your finances, may spare your loved ones the immense delays and expense that Uncle Will’s heirs lived through. You do not need to be wealthy to need estate planning services, you just need to care what will happen once you have gone.
Let’s Make Your Wishes Clearly Understood; Call Me To Discuss Your Options
You need to make sure that your wishes are followed, so don’t put off what is likely one of the biggest sets of decisions you are likely to make. Contact Joel M. Cohen today for a free consultation by calling 850-748-5905 to lock down your intentions for your future and your heirs, or send us a message right now.