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Enough With the Excuses Already!

January 1, 2014 |

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I can’t afford it.

I don’t have time.

It won’t happen to me.

It’s not necessary.

I don’t want to think about it.

My spouse and I can’t agree.

I don’t know what to do.

I don’t know who to pick for the various roles.

I don’t know who to call.

I don’t know where to start.

I don’t have anything.

imagesI try to be understanding. But one of the things that angers me most is listening to people’s unending excuses as to why they don’t do their estate planning. The ONE certainty in life is death. The only question is when it will happen. You and I know that first-hand.

I hope I do not offend, but it is so incredibly selfish, especially for those of us who have children, to avoid doing estate planning for another day. Make 2014 THE year you decide to get it done!

How much money have you spent over the past year on things such as technology that your family “needs?” Your family really needs an estate plan! Even if you truly cannot afford it, and it’s not just a question of prioritizing your funds, many attorneys will work with you on the fee. Keep looking until you find one who is affordable and flexible—we are out there! For those of you in Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska, I am one of those attorneys. Because of what I’ve been through, I’m on a personal mission to help others plan for their death and incapacity. I also have connections to attorneys in all 50 states and would most definitely try to assist in connecting you with one to meet your needs.

For this audience, I don’t think I even need to address the, “it won’t happen to me” excuse. It can. It does. It has. And that doesn’t mean that you are immune from future tragic circumstances. My husband’s sister died two years before he did, also at the age of 40. We thought our family had seen our tragedy. Not so. He died two years later. Life is one thing—uncertain.

Now-Later 2As for all of the, “I don’t knows,” I am here to help you. I have created a four-page questionnaire to help you get to thinking about all of the various decisions that need to be made. It’s a great starting point to help you and I’m happy to share it—at no cost. I tell my clients that making A decision is so much better than not making one for fear of making it wrong. These documents are all changeable down the road. If you can’t make decisions, how is the court supposed to after you’re gone?

Don’t think you have any assets? Another common excuse. Even if you truly have nothing, you still need to plan for incapacity so that someone is designated to make a medical and/or financial decision for you if you’re incapacitated. Additionally, sometimes there are assets that arise by virtue of someone’s death—life insurance proceeds, proceeds from a lawsuit, and various other forms of death benefits.

Make a decision, right now, to get your estate planning done in 2014. You can contact me for assistance in getting started. I’m happy to help other widows. Leave the excuses behind and make this your year!

~ Jennifer Mickelson

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Jennifer Mickelson

Jennifer J. Mickelson is an attorney concentrating her law practice in the areas of estate planning and probate law. First licensed to practice law in 2001, Jennifer has been admitted to practice law in Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri.