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I received a phone call today from a prospective client who informed me that her father had just had a stroke and was in very bad health. The concern was that the father had been separated from his wife for over 20 years, but had never signed any sort of power of attorney or living will. She was concerned that the mother would somehow cause problems, now or when the father died. Unfortunately, this type of situation happens often, mostly due to the lack of advanced planning.
Recently, a good friend of mine was struck by a car. Shortly thereafter, they were in a car accident. Life is random and we never know when something good or bad will happen. We do have control to plan in advance for the ups and downs of our lives. Not doing so means that we leave a mess behind for our loved ones to clean up. This is not a good legacy to leave.
The lesson: Planning is an evolutionary process that must continue throughout one’s life, as situations and laws changes, as assets and family dynamics change. Treat yourself to a checkup of your legal documents, it will be worth it for you and your family.