There is an interesting book called The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker, which posits some interesting theories on why we do what we do. In essence, Becker believes that much of our day-to-day, and lifetime, motivations come from our subconscious knowledge that an end awaits and our conscious efforts to transcend it. For Becker, those efforts to transcend take the form of an “immortality project”; a creation which will outlive us. We are not touting the book as the ultimate truth, but it is a good read and most of it is consistent with our observations of reality.
One thing of which we are convinced, however, is that everyone needs an immortality project. Absence of one leads to nihilism, and that is a bleak path. Our efforts to promote our religion, philosophy, business, and families all come under our immortality projects. Most of us want to influence our projects while we are here, and to continue to influence them after we’re gone. Your best tool to accomplish this is your estate plan.
Estate Planning doesn’t have to be a daunting task for you and your family. Depew Law Firm, P.C. will make the process easy and professional; and you will be educated about your own estate and your influence into the next generations. Your influence may be nothing more than leaving money to a church, school, or other institution with no strings attached. That gift will influence. Similarly, you may want to leave assets to adult family without limitations. You will still influence.
Your estate plan, however, also can allow you to continue to exert specific control over your assets long into the future. You may have minor children, grandchildren, siblings, etc. for whom you want to provide a specific environment until they are adults, middle-aged, or even later. You may want to ensure that your charity cannot take a direction you never anticipated and use your assets to promote it.
Whatever your goals, we will consider them with you and establish a plan which accomplishes them. If you have a positive net worth, including life insurance, you should have an estate plan. It may be nothing more than a simple will and even that may never have to be probated (filed in the courthouse so a judge can approve it and make it part of the public record). But you should at least sit down with us and think through the process to make life better for those you leave behind.
The estate planning we provide is not limited to distribution of assets at your death, however. We also plan for the possibilities that you become incapacitated and either temporarily or permanently cannot make your own decisions regarding medical care, financial issues, or guardians for yourself or your children.
For most of us, the end does not come quickly. It is a process during which one day you are competent to make decisions, and the next day you are not. Do not let your denial of death cause you to procrastinate. While the subject and the process is uncomfortable, we guarantee you will sleep better knowing you have embraced the future and will continue to be a part of it.
We recommend that you consider creating these documents immediately, no matter your financial situation or age:
- Will – A Will is simply a legal document that outlines how you want your assets distributed when you pass away. Estate planning starts with a valid Will that has the appropriate language for the most simple, independent administration possible. We are experienced and knowledgeable at providing your exact wants and needs in a document that is sure to protect your estate and your loved ones.
- Trust – Enables you to control your assets beyond your life so that minors or others incapable of managing or unprepared to manage your wealth themselves are provided for according to your wishes. We can use your Will to create trusts, but prefer separate trusts, for confidentiality and simplicity.
- Durable Power of Attorney – A legal document in which you appoint an agent to handle your business affairs (including personal business) in the event you cannot handle them yourself.
- Health Care Directive and Directive to Physicians –Legal documents that outline in advance your preferences for your care. They help your family and doctors understand exactly how to take care of you as you would want if you cannot speak for yourself.
- Declaration of Guardian – a legal document in which you designate a guardian to represent you and protect you in the event you cannot do so.
Contact us now and we will help you start the process.
Depew Law Firm, P.C.