Are You Playing Russian Roulette with Your Family?
Story by Becky Cholewka, Esq.
Attorneys love to ask questions. So here are two to start.
- Will you live forever?
- Do you know when you will die?
If you answered no to both questions (and you should have!) estate planning should be one of your highest priorities. Why? Because families are most vulnerable when they are grieving or dealing with a crisis. Planning for our possible incapacity and eventual death is the best way to protect our loved ones from overwhelming stress, anger, instability, and financial hardship.
So why don’t more people have a comprehensive estate plan in place? It’s not because we don’t love our families. Sadly, it is because we do not prioritize them. As a society we like to procrastinate and make excuses: I’m not going to die soon; I’ll have more time later; I don’t have enough assets; I don’t make enough money; I don’t know where to start. But these excuses won’t stop us from becoming severely injured or killed in a car accident on the way home from work.
We cannot avoid our own death.
Our finger is on the trigger of that gun each day we let excuses prevent us from planning. Instead of proactively choosing to protect our families, we foolishly spend time shooting off another round. Is it more important to buy your teenager the newest iPhone or to make sure you have life insurance in case your proverbial gun runs out of bullets?
Here are five steps to take now to protect your family today before it is too late:
1.) Decide to create your estate plan.
2.) Set your estate planning goals.
3.) Identify your assets.
4.) Think about who you want to raise your children, take care of your pets, and make medical or financial decisions on your behalf.
5.) Find a trusted attorney that will advise and counsel you as well as create an individualized plan that will protect your family.
Every day as an estate planning attorney, I see how a little planning goes a long way. My last question to you is this: Do you love your family enough to prioritize them? For their sake, I hope your answer is yes. And remember, actions speak louder than words.
Becky Cholewka is the founder of Cholewka Law—an estate planning, probate, and guardianship law firm in downtown Gilbert. She realized the importance of estate planning when her dad died when she was only 19. If you are ready to prioritize your family, contact her at 480-497-3770 or gilbertlawoffice.com.