In these uncertain times, I wanted to include a number of simple tips that can help you plan for the unexpected. If this pandemic teaches us anything, it is that life is precious and can be fleeting, so it is incumbent upon us to plan for the unforeseen. Unfortunately, more than half of all American adults don’t have a Will in place. This lack of planning can have a devastating effect if a crisis occurs. If you are incapacitated, but alive, the choices regarding your medical care may not be your own. A minor child’s fate, if both of his parents die in an accident, will be determined by a judge.

Estate Planning can save you from these and many more unforeseen tragic outcomes. Nearly every adult should do some basic Estate Planning, even those with few assets. Spending time now to have your estate in order is giving your family peace of mind if something should happen to you.

During this collective societal “pause”, I wanted to provide these Essential Estate Planning Tips that everyone should consider. We all finally have some time to consider doing what we have long put on the back burner. There is also no need to leave your home, or wait for my office hours to resume, in order to complete these essential documents.

I am continuing to provide complimentary half hour consultations via phone or video chat to anyone who is interested in learning what their options are.
1: Guardianship plan for minor children
Who will raise your children if both parents die unexpectedly? Unless your child has a very mature and financially savvy sibling, it’s better to have money set aside in a trust or within the care of a Fiduciary. We all like to think the best of everyone, especially siblings, but there have been many cases when money wasn’t used the way the parents intended it to be used.
2: Will
A Will determines which assets will be distributed and the beneficiaries that will inherit those assets. That could be a home, a car, bank accounts, or your personal possessions. If you die without a Will, State law will determine who ultimately inherits your assets.
3: Health Proxy
This document names someone to make medical decisions for you if you are incapable of making them yourself. Medical professionals like to deal with a named health proxy agent because they feel more secure that the individual’s wishes are being carried out. It also avoids having family conflicts over final wishes and intentions.
4: Power of Attorney
This allows someone to manage your financial affairs while you are incapacitated, but still alive. You can limit it to certain functions or make it broad. This tends to be the most important document (and most overlooked) between partners and spouses, but avoids significant financial disruptions.
Contact Mcilraith & Associates , for knowledgeable and effective legal representation that will protect your family and put your mind at ease.
Lewisboro, N.Y.: More Rural Than Suburban, With a Range of Housing
Recently, I was interviewed by the wonderful Susan Hodara of The New York Times.Susan is an author, teacher and writer who profiles towns in CT and Westchester County. This month she shined a sunny spotlight on my town of Lewisboro. It was wonderful to be able to have an opportunity to boast about the gorgeous landscape and the close-knit community that we ar now a part of. Thanks to Nancy Lacavalla of Ginnel Real Estate, Pound Ridge, for introducing Susan to our town!
A Daffodil Destination
Another nearby resident famous for her cooking, craft and gardening skills has also mentioned Lewisboro on her website. Martha Stewart highlighted Lewisboro’s Garden Club’s Golden Roads Daffodils Project which plants 400 bulbs every year along our roads and intensely beautifies our town. The first year Chris and I moved here we couldn’t get over how Spring made its announcement in this very bright and beautiful way. We are still enjoying seeing the young daffodils bloom and it brings joy that a colorful Spring and its warmth are very nearly here. READ COMPLETE ARTICLE
Photo: Courtesy of Jacob Fox
One last bit to share for any women owned business Verizon is giving grants to those that qualify to help with the financial gaps that may occur before business returns to normal. A big thanks to Sandy Barry of Titan Accounting and Consulting Services of Ridgefield, CT for sharing this very timely and helpful information.
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