An estate plan has the potential to leave a legacy or to leave a legendary fight. When done correctly, the assets of one person will transition seamlessly to loved ones, next of kin and younger generations. When done haphazardly, it can spawn fights and rekindle old disputes, putting sibling against sibling, children against parents, and conflict among all manner of relationships.
Estate planning can be a sticky business. Who wants to contemplate their death and consider who gets what? That’s probably why only around 45 percent of adults have a will.
While you may not have the sprawling kind of estate with acres of lawn, dozens of grazing horses and multiple tennis courts, you do actually have an estate. Your estate is comprised of the things you own: your home and vehicles, retirement accounts, bank and investment accounts, jewelry and family heirlooms, to list a few possible assets you may own.
Aging is an important part of life, and we all have to be prepared for it. If you have parents or another loved one who are becoming frail you may be worried about their care and well-being in the near future.
Having children forces difficult conversations. When you have children, it’s hard to think about some of those long talks you’ll have over the years: about dating, bad news and life choices. But you also know that it’s important to sit down and be open about your beliefs because the alternative is even worse. Guardianship is one of those topics. The uncomfortable conversations won’t be with your children, but about them instead. If something were to happen to you and the other parent, who will take care of your kids?
Modern couples often include couples who live together, but are unmarried. It has become common for couples to live together before ever deciding to marry. When you have live together, you share many things. You and your partner may also have children. In Massachusetts 33.4 percent of children are born to unmarried mothers.
You love your parents very much. It can be difficult to watch them age. You may be faced with tough decisions. In some cases, your parents may have a plan in place and make their wishes clear. Other times, you may have to have hard conversations with them to think through options. Either way, moving your parents into an assisted living facility can be difficult. Financing can be tough. You know that it is the best solution. You know they will get the care they need. It may be helpful to encourage them to make the best of the situation. You can help them make their new home more comfortable.
Seldom has so much hung in the balance as the Senate turns its attention to creating its own version of the American Health Care Act, passed last week by a two-vote margin.