It is pretty well known that the physical health of the average American is declining. Statistically, the legal health of Americans isn't much better. A 2012 survey found that 50% of Americans with children do not have a will in place. Even more shocking, the same study showed 41% of baby boomers, ages 59-67, also do not have a will.
Why is it so difficult to prepare and take care of ourselves? The causes of poor legal health are very similar to the causes of poor physical health in the American culture.
We all know that we need to stop smoking and start exercising. But TODAY is never the right time. Today there is too much to do. Today is already booked. Today you don't have the motivation. Unfortunately, the day that you suffer your first heart attack is the wrong day to start dealing with your health. “I'll do it tomorrow” is an all too popular phrase.
Similarly, we also know that people should have a will in place. Most people have heard that a trust can reduce the cost of administering their estate and might even save court costs and taxes. Still, we put it off “until tomorrow.” By procrastinating, we don't create the necessary documents before the day of reckoning. You never know when an accident is coming, and you always expect to have more time to plan … later. Unfortunately, later can come sooner than you anticipate.
Legal health is less expensive and easier to maintain than physical health. A will is the first step in the process of looking at your personal legal health, and making the decisions that will protect your family from stress and financial loss. Today IS the day. Start now.
2. Being Unaware or Misinformed.
There's a lot of conflicting information out there regarding health. What kind of diet should I eat? Do I have to be a runner to be fit? What really causes cancer? The same is true of good legal health. Having bad information or even worse, no information, leads to poor decision making.
I was recently contacted by a family who wanted to save their grandmother's home from the state. The home itself was worth $200,000. It was also attached to five acres of land that could be quite valuable if developed. As commonly happens, the grandmother had spent her last 10 years in long-term care that was covered by Medicaid. Once deceased, the state had a right to recapture more than $200,000 in medical expenses by selling her house.
With expertise and correct knowledge, this family's grandmother could have left the house and the five acres to her heirs. But the family didn't know how to plan ahead to protect the estate. They never bothered to consult an attorney about their personal legal health, so they had no idea what was possible.
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3. Issues of Cost.
More likely than not, you probably get your teeth cleaned yearly, belong to a gym and participate in medical pre-screenings to keep yourself healthy. It's money well spent. There are a number of things we all spend money on now in order to keep ourselves healthy now and for future.
Why wouldn't you be willing to make similar investments to protect yourself legally? For a small price you can save your family thousands of dollars in future costs to administer your estate, give your family the right to make decisions on your behalf, and to ensure that you can qualify for Medicaid if you need it? What is the cost of peace of mind for you and your family? For a few hundred dollars, we can start the process of building you a legally healthy future by creating your will. Your investment is small and the value is priceless.
The first measure of good legal health is creating a plan for with an experienced estate planning attorney. You already have a plan for your physical health. Now you have access to advice about your personal legal health with EVN Law.
Don't put it off any longer, get the answers you need for just a small investment. We're here to answer your questions about estate planning and to let you know what is possible. Just give us a call at 801-852-2333 or go to www.EVNLaw.com.
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