Estate planning is important but not typically urgent until something happens, in which case it’s often too late. Within the last week, I have seen two such examples.
Example 1: Husband and wife contacted us to discuss upgrading their trust. They had seen me present a seminar several years ago, and felt they were now ready to improve their 20-year-old plan. We had a call set for late last week. During the call, I learned that wife had suddenly died four days earlier from a stroke. No warning. We will make the best of his options, though we would have had better options had they upgraded their plan together.
Example 2: We are helping husband obtain ALTCS for his wife, who has dementia and no longer has capacity. Her lack of capacity prevented us from improving her health care directives and financial power of attorney. Yesterday, we learned that wife had been admitted to Palo Verde (mental health) Hospital. She tried to break out of the facility where she lived and threw something at a care provider. Unfortunately, because her health care power of attorney did not include a valid mental health power of attorney, she had to be released from Palo Verde Hospital, causing the family to scramble. They now just started the process of spending thousands to petition the court for an emergency guardianship so she can be re-admitted.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Make sure your clients don’t put off needed planning.