Are you planning ahead, or is indecision handling your estate?
Imagine you are swimming and find yourself in the middle of a lake, confused.
It would help if you got to shore but don’t know which direction to swim in. The shoreline seems equally far in every direction, and you can’t seem to remember which beach you left your towel on. What should you do?
It is a conundrum just like this one that faces many of our estate planning clients.
They come to us in crisis, knowing that they need planning but unsure which path to take. What will we need tomorrow? Next year? Five years from now? These decisions can seem impossible. After all, without a crystal ball, we cannot know what the future holds. Families often find themselves paralyzed by indecision.
The most useful advice we can give our clients who are stuck in “indecision paralysis” is to simply start swimming. Picking a direction – any direction – is almost always the best way forward. The planning tools we use are rarely set in stone, and instead are flexible enough to allow for a change in direction if your life circumstances should change.
But by failing to plan, our options are reduced. Instead of flexibility, we are stranded in the middle of that lake!
A Disability Planning Partners success story
One client couple came to us in 2013, facing tough choices. One spouse had been diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of dementia. The doctors were uncertain of disease progression timelines or even if he would live beyond the five years needed to complete an asset protection plan.
If he did survive, the chances were great that he would need long term care. Unsure of what the future held, a five-year plan seemed like a risk. On the other hand, failing to plan for long term care also seemed like a risk.
We urged our clients to develop a disability plan that focused on preparing documents for incapacity and asset protection planning, making sure to leave flexibility for changes.
Checking in annually to see if health and circumstances had changed, we tweaked the plan along the way. In 2018, that 5-year plan was completed, and the assets that were earned over their lifetime were fully protected for their future.
As our client continues to beat the odds, we continue to revisit and revise their plan. At every stage, we take the time to make sure that their goals always remain within reach.
If you have questions about your estate plan or find yourself stuck on some part of the estate planning process, call us at 860-238-0031 or fill out a contact form to set up a consultation to see if we can help.
Amy Sereday is a Senior Planning Paralegal for Disability Planning Partners, Inc. and owner of Compass Mediation.