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Caring For Generations

“Estate planning tasks include making a will, setting up trusts, making charitable donations, naming an executor and beneficiaries, and setting up funeral arrangements,” Investopedia explains. The process involves determining how an individual’s assets will be preserved, managed, and distributed after death, in addition to determining the management of property and financial obligations in the event the individual becomes incapacitated. There are lists involved, the Investopedia authors explain, including both a list of assets (bank and brokerage accounts, real estate owned, insurance policies and annuities) and a list of debts and obligations. For parents of minor children, estate planning includes deciding who takes care of those dependent if you cannot, NCO Adviser reminds readers.

“People plan on having a good day, a good year, a good retirement and a good life, Jamie Hopkins, CFP® writes in “But why stop there?” he asks – “Why not plan for a good end of life, too?” Not so easy as all that, Alan Orlowsky, J.D., C.P.A. and David Lansky, Ph.D admit, naming five psychological roadblocks that some clients need to overcome before one is prepared to proceed rather than procrastinate: .. .

  1. relationship problems between family members
  2. fear of mortality
  3. perfectionism (fear of making the wrong choice)
  4. fear of legalese and attorneys
  5. fear of losing their own financial security through making gifts

Not only are these fears real, they are widespread – surveys show that only 40% of American adults have prepared estate planning documents, Postic & Bates remind readers. “I’m too young” is often the excuse, with younger generation individuals feeling that they don’t have many assets and that they have many years of healthy living ahead of them. “Remember, estate planning is not just for you, but for those left to pick up the pieces if you don’t do your own planning,” the attorneys remind Gen X and Y’ers…

At Geyer Law, we understand – estate planning matters can be complex and overwhelming. While some estate plans can be simple and straightforward, family matters are often complex and emotionally laden. While we know how to design documents in accordance with Indiana Law, we understand that it’s not about the documents; it’s about the very personalized process of deciding on priorities, of preparing for expected – and unexpected – future outcomes.

After twenty-five years helping Indiana families make and then document decisions that feel right for them, at Geyer Law, we know it’s all about the decision-making, not the paperwork.

– by Cara M. Chittenden, Attorney with Rebecca W. Geyer & Associates