We probably don't actually plan a mess. But without planning, often that is what we leave. A recent book by a Jacksonville author highlights this potential pitfall.
The Florida Times Union this week featured an article about a new book by Jacksonville's own Jody Giles: The Missing Pieces Plan. According to the article, the book divides issues of end-of-life planning into distinct areas: legal; insurance; legacy; and communications. Each of these areas are indeed key areas to address in a full estate plan. Part of working with a focused estate planning attorney will include addressing all of those issues. Although many people might think the attorney handles only the will, a thorough estate plan includes more. Your attorney can help with all of those.
Often your estate planning attorney works hard to make connections in the community to know those other professionals. We refer our clients, make recommendations, review your plan with you, and help you understand the consequences of choosing beneficiaries. As a member of the Northeast Florida Estate Planning Council and as a board member of Women in Insurance and Financial Services, I work with numerous local insurance professionals. Through these connections and others, I strive to help clients have a solid team in their lives covering all those areas: legal, insurance, and financial planning.
Additionally, a full estate plan by McCreary Law Office includes not only discussions about what goes into your will or how much insurance you have, but also those details to address on death. My clients all leave with homework after we finish their estate plan including places to record their wishes for memorials, places to write letters to loved ones, and places to organize all the pertinent documents.
In the Times Union article, Mrs. Giles notes her goal is "to help people 'leave a legacy, not a mess.'" And all of us should work to be informed about what it means to create an end-of-life plan. Whether finding a good book as a resource, doing some online research, or talking to friends, building knowledge is good. Then consider calling an estate planning attorney to help put your plan into place with a professional.
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