Captain’s Blog: 007
Part II: Time
In our last Captain’s Blog, Overcoming the Five Roadblocks to Legal Planning, we discussed the issue of Unawareness. Many people don’t know exactly what estate planning is because it isn’t taught in our traditional educational system, and not every parent has knowledge of this life skill to pass it down to their children. In the absence of knowledge, misconceptions about estate planning frequently deter people from executing critical legal documents. Now that we know the three most important estate planning documents have nothing to do with wealth, we can examine other roadblocks to legal planning. In this Captain’s Blog, we’ll discuss Time.
Time. The second obstacle to legal planning is Time. As adults, we’re busy. (Refer to the aforementioned Grown-Up To-Do list in our last Captain’s Blog here.) In addition to the To Do list, there’s work, family, friends, obligations, and all the minutia of life that requires attention.
Busy adults think they don’t have time to learn about something as big and imposing as legal documents. When the washing machine suddenly breaks… when you have a dental appointment wedged into a work day…when you can barely get the kids out the door on time, let alone yourself…learning about legal documents falls well below scheduling that oil change.
If you think about it, we have Grown-Up To Do lists to maintain and preserve the life we cherish. We make time for the dental or doctor appointment to either proactively care for ourselves or address an immediate concern. We make time to get that oil change to keep our lives humming with reliable transportation and to avoid an unnecessary, outrageous expense in the future. We make time for laundry, cleaning, and errands because those super-unsexy, time-suckers somehow create a steady rhythm in our everyday life. You only need to skip Laundry Day once to know how off-balanced the next week feels. As ridiculous and annoying as all these little individual chores seem, collectively, they keep our lives in balance, and at the heart of it, they preserve what’s important to us.
If we’re willing to spend a chunk of our very limited, precious, free time crossing-off these chores, then why aren’t we checking-off the most important task of our lives? Estate planning is the ultimate To Do that preserves the life we cherish and ensures the rhythm of that life continues during a health emergency.
In the event you are unable to make decisions due to a health emergency, estate planning documents keep your life on track. A Durable Power of Attorney legally authorizes a person of your choosing to make financial decisions on your behalf, so your accounts remain current. (Outside of Florida, this document is commonly called a Financial Power of Attorney.) The rent or mortgage doesn’t default, and the utility bill gets paid, so you don’t incur costly late fees or a termination of service. A Designation of Health Care Surrogate appoints an individual to make health care decisions if you are unable to make those decisions or if you are unable to articulate your wishes. (Outside of Florida, this document may be called a Medical Power of Attorney or a Health Care Power of Attorney.) If missing Laundry Day throws off your grove, imagine the disruption to your life without an estate plan when a health emergency hits.
When prioritizing your Grown-Up To Do list, consider making time to learn just a little bit about estate planning. At Beach Barrister, we offer an array of fun, short videos, introducing you to the fundamental principles of law, which will be far less painful than that oil change! Sail away with us to a tropical location of learning. Let’s start right now!
Click here for the third installment of our series, Overcoming the Five Roadblocks to Legal Planning: Part Three, where we discuss Money as an obstacle to estate planning. Until then...
Plan Early. Plan Often. Plan Well.
Beach Barrister is NOT a law firm. We are an educational forum. We do NOT legally counsel individuals based upon their specific life circumstances or planning goals.
Beach Barrister is NOT a substitute for legal counsel. We highly encourage every viewer of this site to seek a local, licensed, reputable attorney to assist you with your state-specific laws, planning goals, and execution of documents.