It’s #3NoMoreThan5in5 time once again! Welcome to The Business of Life series. In this edition, Adulting. Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor, I am not an attorney and I don’t play one on TV, so please speak to experts. I do want to share a few thing I hope you’re thinking about as you’re maturing in your space. You’re a parent, maybe a new one, newly married or maybe you’re like me, someone who chooses not to be married but also has responsibility for aging parents. As we think about these things I’m going to cover a few items:
- Your Will
- Power of Attorney
All of these things I think are super important and I want to make sure you’re thinking about them and getting the right/specific knowledge in putting these together as you work through your adulting journey. I realized as my parents aged, that at some point I was going to have to be the responsible party for them. I also realized that because I made the choice not to be married, my partner and I needed to figure out components so that we can access one another, our assets. Those things can’t happen if you don’t already have plans in place.
Item number one again, a Will. If you don’t have one, go get one. You might be able to figure something out on legal Zoom or something like that, but to get a holistic look, I strongly recommend you find an attorney who can help you do this well. Making sure your requests/what you want to have happen should you no longer be here are all mapped out. Those are things that can take a lot of stress and emotional strain off your loved ones. So identify, if you’ve got kids who will be responsible for them? If you have assets, where do the assets go? What would you like in terms of next steps? Cremated? Buried? What services do you want? All these things, if you outline them in advance, it can be very helpful to your family and loved ones you leave behind.
Number two, a trust. Trusts are not just for wealthy people. If you have any assets at all, heirloom jewelry for example or maybe a small business you want to pass on, think about setting up a trust so that it becomes available to them and doesn’t get tied up in probate which could result in them never having any of the assets or resources you intend to send their way.
Finally, powers of attorney. My partner has a power of attorney for me for healthcare and finances. So if something should happen to me, he can access them, make decisions on my behalf and sign for various things if I’m incapacitated. These powers of attorney for both healthcare and finance were super helpful when my mother, who suffers from dementia, started to get to a place where she was not capable of making decisions for herself. I would be struggling to make sure that the resources available to her are actually accessible if I didn’t already have that power of attorney in place. We got those documents signed and notarized when she was still of sound mind, so today in her current state I’m able to take care of the business of her life as I step up to make sure her and my dad are cared for in their senior years.
All of this can be covered in so much more than 5 minutes obviously, but it was important for me to share it with you so you can start thinking about it and start making plans to protect yourself, those you love and ensure you can access whatever is needed should they or you be incapacitated in some way.
I hope this was helpful and I hope this is something you’re all seriously considering. Until next time, be well! Take care! And always think about the business of life. Cheers!