Elder law attorney Dennis Toman, founder at The Elderlaw Firm in Greensboro, NC, outlines why the thought of death is the main reason for not planning ahead. For more information please visit https://www.elderlawfirm.com
Greensboro, NC, United States - November 25, 2020 /MM-REB/ —
In a recent interview, elder law attorney Dennis Toman, founder at The Elderlaw Firm in Greensboro, NC, pointed to the idea of death as the main reason for not planning ahead.
For more information please visit https://www.elderlawfirm.com
When asked for a comment, he said, “It's not surprising that people tend to place estate planning and being financially prepared on the backburner to deal with at a later date simply because they don't want to imagine what their life would look like after their loved one passes away."
This tendency is not confined to a small percentage of people. Over half of Americans older than 55 have not prepared a Last Will & Testament, according to a 2018 study carried out by Merrill Lynch.
Attorney Toman highlighted that not having a solid plan of what to do with a loved one’s assets could result in negative financial implications.
“It’s crucial to have a solid plan in place about what will happen with your or your family’s assets – and this plan should cover both during lifetime and after passing. If you’re not prepared, then problems will pop up such as uncertainty about what assets there are and where to locate them, how to divvy up those assets, or how to access either assets or essential documentation,” he said.
Because of this, Attorney Toman pointed out, it's prudent for married couples to attend financial meetings together during the process of financial and estate planning.
When asked to elaborate, he said, “This is a great way to ensure everyone is on the same page and understand what will happen if either becomes incapacitated or passes away. Going through the process together will also eliminate confusion in the long run,” he added.
A recent New York Times article found that “cognitive decline can take its toll on a couples’ ability to manage and execute an estate plan.” Because of this, Attorney Toman emphasized that it’s crucial to start the planning process while still healthy physically and mentally.
To set up such a plan, the best route is to get in touch with an estate planning and elder law attorney, according to Attorney Toman. An experienced professional can explain the options of a plan that is customized for each client based on their financial situation, family dynamics, plans, and goals.
“Because there are so many factors to take into consideration, setting up estate and financial plans is not black and white. So it’s important that while dealing with a new client that I have a detailed understanding of their financial and family situation. This helps me to approach the planning process holistically, so we can ensure the plan is thorough and robust,” he said.
Topics that he normally covers with new clients include individually and jointly held assets, family dynamics, retirement plans and pensions, real estate, and life insurance policies.
“Once I get a good picture of a client’s finances and estate, I help them decide how their assets should be split after passing as well as who should manage these affairs during lifetime by assigning a power of attorney. So if you’re incapacitated, for instance, you will have already appointed a trusted third party to execute your financial and healthcare decisions,” he added.
Release ID: 88987192