Remember how the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes when he decided to not throw all the Whos belongings over a mountain? Imagine how great it will feel when you do the same for those you love! By creating an estate plan for your family’s inheritance, you are (metaphorically, of course) stopping what should rightfully be theirs from toppling over the mountain side!
In real life, that mountain side represents time, stress, expense and the possibility of litigation for your heirs if you die without an estate plan. The best holiday gift you can give is peace of mind — which is exactly what your loved ones will receive if you plan your estate this holiday season.
Estate planning is not just for the wealthy or the aged. It is the only way to ensure that your property goes where you want it to go. The stakes are especially high if you are a parent or a guardian, as passing without creating a plan for your loved ones’ care can cause emotional turmoil for them.
The Gift of Time… for You
Not being able to gather with friends and family hearthside this holiday season because of the COVID-19 pandemic is difficult for everyone. However, a benefit of this otherwise awful situation is the gift of time. With time off from work for the holidays and nowhere to travel or large meals to cook, this is an opportunity to collect the information you need to create your estate plan. Take stock of your assets and your wishes, and get organized. Not sure where to begin? Check out our Estate Planning Questionnaire.
Skip the Online Shopping
While online shopping has made picking the perfect gift easy, this is not the time to take a cyber shortcut. The American Bar Association’s Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section has an estate planning do-it-yourself information sheet that says that, while there are cost-savings of online estate planning, people should use such services cautiously. In recommending that people seek professional legal assistance in drafting estate plans, the ABA warns it saw many DIY situations “where a person may have a false sense of security that he or she has addressed the disposition of his estate, only to have it discovered by the surviving family members after the person’s death, that important issues were not addressed.”
New Year: Looking Back and Making Resolutions
What’s changed this past year? Did you acquire new property? Take out a new insurance policy? Did you have children or grandchildren or get married? Changes like these could impact your estate plan, so be sure to update your Will to reflect your current assets and how they should be distributed. If you resolve to create an estate plan, you can achieve your goal!
Giving the gift of estate planning during the holidays shows the people you love that you are prioritizing them and their well-being. It’s a thoughtful gift they’ll cherish — even more than your famous fruitcake or an ugly sweater!
We hope you have a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year! We are here to help you!
“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more!” ~ Dr. Seuss