There was a family of three. The mother had two children, a son Adam and a daughter Ada. They lived happy life together and didn’t really worry about the future. They assumed that things would fall into place naturally.
Unfortunately, one day, the mother began to suffer from dementia and her son Adam began to treat him badly and asked her for money.
Orally Appointment v. Writing Appointment
So the mother orally asked the daughter Ada to take over control of her affairs, she didn’t have the right legal document in place because she didn’t have an estate planning lawyer and thought the estate wasn’t big enough for that. Ada didn’t know what to do, so she went to the court for guidance.
Judge Appoints the Financial Guardian
What happened is, since she didn’t have the right document in place, they end up in the court. The financial guardian of the estate must able appointed by the judge. The judge didn’t appoint Ada because her credit wasn’t good enough. What that means is that the court-appointed its own financial guardian of the mother’s estate. Unfortunately, that person is not what the mother wanted, today, the estate has been completely drained of all of its assets with unnecessary court hearings and huge billings where they bring their entire staff to the court.
Suppose A Will is In Place
Suppose the mother has a will and becomes dementia. The will is only effective upon death. Since she is still alive, the will isn’t effective yet, so Ada has no right legal document to act as the financial guardian of the estate.
If Mother Passed Away
The mother passed away suddenly without any warning. The children were devastated by the loss. However, things got worse when they realized that the mother had not made any estate plans. She had not created a will, trust, or any other legal documents to ensure her family’s financial security.
Since the mother had no legal documents, the court had to get involved to distribute her assets. The process was long and complicated, and it left the family in turmoil. The children had to go through a legal battle to claim what was rightfully theirs.
Moreover, since the mother had not designated any guardianship for her minor children. The children will be taken away by child protective services until the judge appoints a guardian and decide who would take care of them. It could take months. They could be your children. Thinking about your children will be put in a foster care living with random strangers, what can you do? All it takes is to create a will, living trust or child lifetime planning.
The family learned the hard way that estate planning is not just about legal documents, it’s about making sure that our loved ones are taken care of the way we want them to be, and it’s about making it easy for them to care for us and our affairs if something happens.
In summary, this story shows the importance of estate planning beyond just legal documents. It’s about ensuring that our loved ones are taken care of and that our wishes are respected. An estate plan can make things much easier for our family during a difficult time.