Passionate About the Community
and the Moms Who Live Here

Why I’m Planning For My Future

The future.  It seems so far away, doesn’t it?  In reality, the future can be any moment from this moment on.  The next second, minute, hour or year.  I think it’s so easy to say that we will do things in the future, except those things never get done until it’s too late.  

Which is why, in my quest to tackle all the things in 2017 I’m going to plan for my future.  Actually, I’m going to plan for not only my future but my children’s future.  And I’m getting all the help I could ever possibly need from Shauna Anderson a certified specialist in Estate Planning. {Basically she’s so smart she took a second mini bar exam just to be specialized in estate planning!}

Before you make any quick judgments, let me say that Shauna is not like any other attorney.  The first time I met her I was nervous.  Lawyers make me nervous.  Why?  I have no idea.  But after a quick hello from Shauna, I felt like I was sitting with an old friend.  

That’s how comfortable she makes you feel.

We sat and we chatted and she explained to me the importance of establishing an estate plan.  At first, I laughed because I don’t have significant wealth!  There is not a massive plantation house with acres of land surrounding a beautiful pond with the Hoey crest stamped into the iron gates at the entrance.  No!  We have a modest townhouse with a little money in the bank and a few retirement funds.  That’s it. 

So what exactly does an estate plan include? {Especially for those of us who DO NOT HAVE PONIES!}

  • The Trust – This is a legal document that will allow you to ensure your assets (money) pass to your loved ones without court involvement. This is like all of the aspects of your life. Your family, your finances, your health, your businesses, your assets, your retirement, etc.  The TRUST is what Shauna will help you create.
  • Trustees –  These people will be responsible for your finances, however, they will not own your money.  You want to select people who can handle your money.
    •  A trust can make sure that when you pass your money is responsibly given to your children.  The trustee will be able to write tuition checks and keep your children well taken care of. 
  • Your Will –  This is especially important for people with young children.  Who will get guardianship over your children is not something you want the court to decide.  And if you don’t have this planned out there could be a serious court battle over your children.  
  • Powers of Attorney – These are the people who will be making financial and health decisions if you are incapacitated or pass away.  

Why is this so important to do with a certified estate planner?  I can get a will for $65!

Yes, you can get a will for $65, but you get what you pay for.  And not only that, you’ve left your family the burden of paying for everything else.  And most of the time what you’ve signed can’t be fixed.  Remember, those online wills have fine print!

Did you know that if you do not have an established trust and the unthinkable happens, your $800,000 home will go through probate and SOMEONE will have to pay from your assets approximately $15,000+ before your loved ones get all of your money?  And what about your home, how will the mortgage get paid when no one has access to your bank accounts– foreclose?

Shauna explained that she has clients who have been through some serious nightmares from not planning ahead.   

Unfortunately, this is something people procrastinate to plan. And that can lead to heavy burdens on families who have to not only deal with the trauma of losing a loved one, but also a financial hardship to sort it all out between courts and lawyers.

What should you expect when seeing Shauna?

  • Expect to fill out a 7-8 page questionnaire.  This is what will get you and your partner thinking about all of the details of your financials, but also your family.
    • Note that being husband and wife does not guarantee you will have access to each other’s finances in case one of you is incapacitated.  
    • Your families can even fight over your children if it is not all spelled out.
  • After that, you’ll have a meeting with Shauna to discuss ALL of these questions and then some.  
  • Shauna will then create a draft of what was discussed.  These documents are around 110 pages.  Like I said, you get what you pay for!
  • Shauna will walk you through the documents so that you understand everything.  You’ll then sign with a notary and witness {That she already has!} 
  • Then you will get next step info.  This might mean making sure all of your bank accounts have you and your Trust’s name on them.  And don’t worry, she will walk you through those as well.
  • And Done.  That’s it.  
  • In 3-5 years she suggests reviewing your Estate Plan to make sure you still feel the same way about where your children will go or making sure your trustees are still capable of making all of the decisions they will be required to do.  And this review is included – no extra charge!

Every person over the age of 18 should have an estate plan.  If you are the parent of a young adult you no longer have the same rights you did when they were a minor!  

The amazing thing is, once your estate plan is executed it grows with you.  Shauna gives you the legal advice necessary so that if you do open a new bank account you know what to do so that it is included in your trust.  If you open a new business, get another ROTH IRA, etc – you will know how to handle it.  No worries.

None of us want to talk about dying.  But we are doing a disservice to our children if we don’t take care of things now!  The truth is, none of us know what day will be our last.  

Thankfully, Shauna is an expert in walking families through this important planning.  She is warm and kind and so very caring.  Not only will you feel at peace knowing you have made future decisions now, but you will walk away assured that your children and family won’t experience even more trauma after you have passed.

The future will always be the future.  But now, with Shauna, you can look ahead without fear.

 

 

Our partner Shauna Anderson has given us the information for this post, but as always our opinions are always our own!

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