It's time to dig in to the second step of Getting Real about your Legal Life PlanTM. (If you missed it, you can get up to speed on step one here.) Let's talk about how to Get Motivated. The key to this second step is changing your attitude about the future. Here are some things to think about to do that:
- Nothing is set in stone. This is both a positive and a negative—things are flexible and you can make the changes you need to keep you and your family safe. However, if your life situation has changed (i.e. a remarriage), you'll need to make a change in your plan.
- You can age on your own terms. Though you can't control everything 100%, the sooner you make plans, the more control you have over what happens to you (where you live, who makes decisions, etc.) as you get older.
- Take action now to make change. Nothing will happen unless you take the steps to make a change. If you don't have a plan in place, you'll get the default plan provided by the state of Idaho. So to get what you want, you'll have to take the steps necessary to put YOUR plan into place.
As described, the default plan is often called the “government” plan. State legislatures have attempted for some time to come up with a way to:
- distribute assets in the absence of will,
- identify and authorize someone to act on behalf of an incapacitated individual when one isn’t identified, and finally,
- provide a way to pay for nursing care when an individual runs out of money or hasn’t made other plans.
As a result, governments (both federal and state) have created a “death plan,” an “incapacity plan,” and a “long-term care plan” as defaults for those who have chosen to NOT design their own plans.
The best way to summarize all the bad news about the default or the government plan and what it would mean for you, is: it’s expensive, time consuming, inaccurate, and inappropriate for most of your needs. But here’s the good news: YOU DON’T NEED TO USE THESE PLANS. You can create your own!
The Beatles sang, “All you need is love.” In terms of estate or elder law planning, you absolutely need love, but you also need a little more. As noted above, you need to realize that you’re not here forever and during the time you are here, you will likely experience a period of time with declining physical or cognitive health or both. And finally, you need to realize that whatever you currently have in place for estate planning, more than likely is now inadequate.
Now is the time to make that change in attitude and spend the time and energy to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your estate. So let’s get real about what you need to plan for - if you want a designed plan that truly serves your needs and wishes. To start taking the steps to make your plan a reality, contact our office today. We'll help you decide what to do next.
To learn more about how you can started on your Legal Life PlanTM order your own copy of Mark's book, Get Real: Planning for Life, Death, and Disability, for free here!