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Boca Raton News


Date ArticleType
5/18/2020 General
Estate Planning

Estate Planning

Graduations, July 4th Picnics, Lazy Days and exotic vacations are all what make summertime a favorite season to many. Likewise, additional downtime also makes this an ideal period to tackle
those long-time goals.

You know the ones.

You dread doing these things, but as an adult, you realize you must undertake House Renovations, Doctor Appointments, and, yes, even Estate Planning.

Nonetheless, many parents do not always appreciate the importance of encouraging their adult children to address their own estate planning.

Every Adult, 18 and Over, should consider signing 4 basic documents: a Pre-Need Designation of Guardianship; a Durable Power of Attorney; a Health Care Proxy, “Living Will; and a HIPAA designation.

Even if a child is pursuing academic endeavors at a university or still on a parent’s generous payroll / health care plan, basic estate planning is needed. Too often is the instance where a young person is hurt, off campus, where any extrinsic collegiate authorization does not apply, and a parent is faced with going to court to establish temporary guardianship for that child. So much less time, emotional & financial cost is involved by tackling these issues before that crisis happens.

As a long-standing member of the Florida Association of Women Lawyers, I created a program in 2013, “Legal Jeopardy”, designed to educate graduating high school seniors about a variety of issues that each need to know upon turning 18, the age of majority in our country, including basic estate planning.

Nonetheless, the following is a top 5 list of reasons that I have compiled for why people tell me that they will NOT seek counsel from a trusted advisor:
1.  I Am Superstitious. Signing These Documents Will Bring Me (Or My Family) Bad Luck Immediately.

 My response: Sorry to skip ahead and tell you the ending of your Book of Life, but it does not end well. Nothing you do will keep you from the inevitable. However, creating your estate documents provides you control in life and after death that you will surrender if you do not address those issues now, while able and capacitated.

2. What Do I Care What Happens To Me & My Belongings When I Die?

 My response: A LOT!!! As the flight attendant always says at the beginning of each trip, make sure to take care of yourself before attending to others.

Most elements of estate planning focus on YOU, ensuring that YOUR wants and needs are met in YOUR lifetime, not what the State of Florida might dictate. Remember, the flight attendant also says sometimes how you better hold on tight because this trip might get bumpy? He is referring to you, if you choose not to address estate planning issues properly.

3. Estate Planning Costs Too Much Money.

My response: In Comparison to What? Guardianship? Probate? Obtaining Court Orders for Declarative Actions? All of which will likely be needed if you do not seek legal guidance. Pre-planning does not have to be expensive and the money you will spend by doing it right will truly save you headaches, heartaches and more money later.

4. I Do Not Have Enough Assets Over Which to Worry.

My response: YOU. You are your greatest asset. EVERY adult, including your 19 year old son whose bills you still pay or your 22 year old daughter who is still on your health care plan, should have a minimum of 4 estate documents: a Health Care Proxy (Living Will); Durable Power of Attorney; HIPAA; and Pre-Need Designation of Guardianship. Best Graduation present ever? A simple estate package to ensure your granddaughter will always have the care she needs based on the documents she signed as a young adult.

5. I Will Worry About That If And When It Is Needed.

My response: Unless you hold a crystal ball, you just do not know when that will be and by then it will be too late. The difference in legal rates is similar to seeing a doctor for a wellness check-up and being rushed to that same doctor for an emergency.  The price difference is huge. Take the time to address these issues now while you can still control the process, rather than having the process control you.

If you DO have a crystal ball, we should talk. There is an investment that I am considering….

So, Please, BEFORE Your Troubles Hit the Fan, Make Sure to Create Your Estate Plan!!!

Pamela Higer-Polani,
Attorney at Law
tel:    (561) 496-4222
cell:   (561) 504-4533
email: Pamela@LawPHP.com
website: www.BocaDelrayAttorneyAtLaw.com