Recently I listened to a podcast on Estate Planning from TheSurvivalPodcast.com and it got me to thinking more and more about the end-of-life decisions neither I nor my spouse have made. (Or, maybe it’s because I’m getting another year older today… argh!) Anyway, let’s face it, such “disasters” are the ones we will all face for sure.
Until I listened to the podcast I had always flippantly choose to believe that such decisions were only for the well-to-do and “old” people. I recognize now that such decisions apply to everyone, including you and I, even if relatively young and poor!
The biggest reason for such estate planning is to make your family’s lives easier in difficult situations regarding an assortment of medical and legal sticking points.
Specifically, I had naively assumed that the only document I needed was a will. In fact, according to the podcast guest, this document is likely less necessary than both an Advanced Medical Directive (a.k.a., Living Will) and a Durable Power of Attorney. I won’t bother explaining why (listen to the podcast for the details) but I’ve come to the conclusion that my wife and I should have them.
Although I have to do some more research, I would think that our situation is basic enough to be able to use a service like Legal Zoom to craft such documents. For about $150 I can get both documents completed for both of us. There are other options such as US Legal Forms that might be a bit less expensive, and even freely available forms that I’m considering… just to have something. Of course, I’m sure an attorney that does this for a living can provide very good reasons why you or I should use their professional services; if you can afford their fees then certainly do seek competent legal counsel.
Having said that, I would venture to say that you cannot afford to be without anything. Maybe you shouldn’t use legal documents developed from freely available online forms, but at least from a reputable source such as Legal Zoom or US Legal Forms.
It’s on my to-do list. Is it on yours?