The last 12 months have been historic, unprecedent and, in a word, crazy. It is no wonder then that we have learned a lot, and as it relates to estate planning, we have definitely learned many facts we did not know prior to these unprecedented times.
Too late to estate plan
It is never too early to estate plan, but we have seen that, sometimes, it is too late. The recent death of millionaire Tony Hsieh, who died without a will, gives us an example of what too late means. The founder of Zappos shoes was worth nearly a billion dollars, but he died without an estate plan. This has led to a costly and protracted probate court proceedings for his surviving family members.
Planning for the worst-case scenario
Prior to the last 12 months, when we estate planned, we likely thought about what was likely. But, now, we think in terms of worst-case scenarios, which means our estates plans are now much better and more comprehensive than ever before. And, for those that never thought of estate planning, it has now become a “trending” hot topic.
No one is too young or too old to estate plan
Over the last 12 months, we have all been reminded of our mortality, regardless of age. This has meant that we have all come to the realization that estate planning is needed for everyone because anything could happen at any time.
No money does not mean no estate plan
We have learned that estate planning is much more than about money. We have scene how important healthcare directives become when we become incapacitated. And, that is just one non-asset related item within an estate plan.
Telling friends and family is not enough
What happens after one dies or become incapacitated is a legal issue, and what we have told our friends and family means nothing. Without a legally enforceable estate plan, the state, i.e., a probate judge, will decide our fate.
For Sherman, Texas, residents, the biggest takeaway from the 12 months is that everyone needs a legally enforceable, estate plan. And, to ensure this, call an attorney.