I have been involved in two probate situations during my lifetime, BOTH PAINFUL.
My father and his wife died suddenly in a tragic car accident on May 20, 2018, WITHOUT an estate plan. As if that was not enough hardship for my family, we quickly discovered that they intended to get an Estate Plan in order, but never did.
So they died without a will, trust or any written wishes. I shared that story, what I learned from my experience and practical actions you can take to protect your family from this unnecessary hardship or navigate a difficult Estate that you are responsible for.
It can be uncomfortable to talk about this subject. I’ve had so many conversations like this in my life about these matters that it has become normal. But I know it isn’t. It’s hard.
For your sake, and especially that of your loved ones, I ask that you take two actions from this Estate Planning 30-Day Challenge:
- Get your estate plan DONE (Includes a Trust, Pour-over Will, Advanced Healthcare Directive and more) especially if you have children. I’m attaching a webinar I did last year to educate our community and have included links to resources to get this entire process done.
- Make sure your loved ones have their Estate Plan complete or updated. Talk to your loved ones and make sure they have their Estate Plan complete or updated. You are welcomed to share the video and resources.
Trust me, I KNOW that one of the aspects of being a working professional mom includes having an endless list of tasks, all-important, that will never get done – it’s a well with no bottom.
That said, I am taking an extra few minutes I don’t have today to express again to anyone who will listen and attempt to impress upon everyone with or without children, married or single, to move the Estate Plan to the top of your list.
This is so important to me, that I have decided to conduct a 30-Day Challenge during the month of August to help support and empower everyone in our community to get this done. I’ll do a few FB lifestreams and will encourage you to take the actions to get this done. For something like this, if we do it together, we’ll all get it done!
If you have your Estate Plan completed and it doesn’t require any updates, use the Challenge to make sure all of your loved ones get theirs done.
From my end, I’m using the August Challenge to review my current plan with my husband for updates that I know we need to make, to support my friends, family, and community to get their Estate Plans complete.
If you would like to join me in this Challenge, please comment below with whom you are committed to having the Estate Plan completed with (no names, just your relationship is fine) by 8/30/19. If it is you, please be brave and raise your hand and commit to getting this done. The entire community will support you to get it done.
Ready to get started?
Alright, here’s your immediate action step for today…
Watch the Day One video for the 30-Day August Challenge below. Then, be sure to RETURN to this post WEEKLY to see the remaining videos:
SUMMARY: 5 Key Steps to complete your Estate Plan:
- Hire an Estate Planning Attorney and/or Life Insurance professional (may require getting referrals, interviewing & getting quotes from three professionals in order to choose) 1). Estate Plans generally range from $500-$2,500. Life insurance professionals do not charge for their services. They are paid a % of the policy. Here is a resource to get you started on your selection: https://cpa-moms.com/partners-estate
- Do the “homework” of completing the questionnaires, having difficult discussions and making decisions about your wishes. In order to complete your Estate Plan, your attorney will give you a questionnaire to complete. You’ll also need to get your life insurance policies set up or updated. Some policies require an exam and blood work. The nurse came to our house. Others, just have you fill out a health questionnaire. Be 100% accurate because they do have the right to review your medical file, if they find that you did not disclose a known medical condition, then certain policies may pay the beneficiaries only the premiums paid and NOT the actual death benefit.
- Submit the questionnaire to have your attorney draft your Estate Plan for your review.
- Sign official documents (some may need to be notarized)
- Fund your Trust. Put your assets in the name of your Trust (property, bank account.) Ask your attorney about which assets to “fund” in the Trust.
For those of you who have completed Step 1: Hire an Estate Planning Attorney and/or Life Insurance professional. Well done! You are leading the pack and are lightyears ahead of the majority of the population.
If you are just getting started it may be overwhelming to get this entire process done. If you can commit to one thing by the end of this challenge I encourage you to choose, hire, and engage an estate-planning attorney and a life insurance expert to get the process going.
This week’s recommendations based on where you are in the process:
- If you’ve already started, use this challenge to get your estate plan completed
- If you already have an estate plan, use this challenge to get it reviewed and updated, including your insurance
- If you have never done an estate plan and/or insurance, use this challenge to get that professional hired, have your first meeting with them to establish a timeline to get it done
Don’t forget you can share the link to this blog post with your friends and family for them to join the challenge as well.
I applaud you for taking this on! And it’s a gift you’ll leave behind for your loved ones who will thank you as well!
Stay tuned for the next week’s update…
(For those of you who can’t wait to race ahead, here is a recording of a webinar I did last year: Estate Planning for Everyday People
And here’s the estate planning resource page to learn more about and contact with each of the experts.
We are now halfway through the 30-Day Estate Planning Challenge, so for those who have taken your first steps in starting or updating your estate plan, CONGRATULATIONS! This is the beginning to peace of mind for you and your family.
After reviewing all of your comments and concerns regarding this topic, communication with family seems to be a recurring issue that many of you are having. Speaking to family on such a personal and uncomfortable issue can be very challenging. I’m sure thoughts come up such as, “Will certain members of my family feel as though I’m after something?”. What may be an uncomfortable topic with family now, will save you or your family a headache of uncomfortable conversations later.
This week’s recommendations based on where you are in the process:
1. Take ONE step today! Whether its simply making an appointment professional or even speaking to your spouse regarding what your wishes are. It’s never too late to take one step to moving your estate plan forward.
2. Take advantage of the resources provided in this blog. Visit our estate planning resource page for more information on estate planning and experts that are available to help you in this process. Also, there are free worksheets available for you to take advantage of!
Don’t forget you can share the link to this blog post with your friends and family for them to join the challenge as well. Please continue to comment and share your journey with us! Looking forward to another productive week!
Stay tuned for next week’s update…
We are now bringing our 30-Day Estate Planning Challenge to an end, so I would like to go over how to effectively complete and move forward from a challenge.
1. Define a measurable outcome: Organize goals around your calendar. 30 to 90 day challenges are the most desirable timeframes due to the fact that if the finish line is too far away, its hard to see the finish line and stay focused and motivated. Longer or more detailed goals that would need a year to complete, break them down into shorter term goals to hold yourself accountable. Try to start on the 1st of every month in order to have a clear start and finish time.
2. Have accountability: Share your goal or challenge with the people you KNOW will hold you accountable. Choose the people who will be tough on you to complete what you set out to accomplish. Weekly check-ins are a great way to keep you on track throughout the challenge.
3. Completion: In order to truly complete a challenge you must evaluate what the result is. Let’s relate to the challenge as a game, you must be able to play, complete and then leave it in the past. If the game leaves you in an upset it’s not truly complete. If everything is not finished, it’s OKAY! Look at what you originally set out to complete. Acknowledge what you said you were going to do complete, what you did not complete and all of the unexpected benefits.
I want to thank ALL of you who participated in this challenge, its brings me so much joy watching al of you succeed! Please continue to share your success and incompletions with me and the rest of the community.
Stay tuned for our SEPTEMBER WELLNESS CHALLENGE!
**The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.**