Mother's Day is nearly here and you’re probably still looking for the perfect gift. Flowers and cards are always appreciated, but maybe this year, you can get her something different: the peace of mind that comes with an estate plan.
We know it’s not pretty or poetic but hear us out. An estate plan can be the perfect gift for mothers of any age or stage of life. In this series we will address the needs of moms with kids at any age...
For Moms with Grown Kids
If you’re all grown up and looking for a gift for your loving mama, a practical gift can be greatly appreciated. Something she might not have gotten around to or updated in a long time (because raising kids is TIME CONSUMING) is her own estate plan.
Estate planning is more than just a Will. Your mother may have property, savings, a business, specific healthcare needs and requests and more. A comprehensive estate plan will give your mother the chance to express her wishes to enable others to carry them out if she becomes incapacitated or when she’s gone.
- Do you know all of the details of how your mom wants to be cared for if she loses her mental capacity? Without an Advance Health Care Directive, no one can legally make decisions about her health care, where she lives, who takes care of her, etc.;
- Do you know who she wants to make legal and financial decisions for her if she is unable? Without a Durable Power of Attorney, no one can legally handle these important affairs; and
- Do you know how your mother wants her assets to be distributed? A living trust can clear that right up and avoid probate. Do you know that all Wills go through probate (assuming mom has more than $150,000 or has real estate*).
And that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. While there are many “quick and dirty” resources out there for legal matters, be forewarned that you normally get what you pay for. Over 95% of the estate plans we see have a fatal flaw, most of which the client doesn’t know about. We define a successful plan as that which: 1) Honors mom’s wishes, 2) Avoids court and 3) Maintains family harmony after she’s gone.
Sadly, it’s common for family drama to surface if mom loses mental capacity and requires a lot of help and often gets worse after she passes away.
For you and your siblings, an estate plan for your mother can also prevent a lot of additional grief, anger, and resentment by providing a clear roadmap for how to handle your mother’s affairs, finances, property, and healthcare needs when the time comes.
And we’re sure your mother would appreciate that, too.