Another hurricane season is upon us. While we’re hoping this area stays out of the “Cone of Uncertainty,” we’re also hoping that you will still be prepared. Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30, and during that time, it is highly recommended that you and your family have a hurricane preparedness plan in place. This should include food, water, an evacuation route…and an estate plan.
That’s right, an estate plan. Even with the best disaster preparedness plan, there is no way to know for sure how a disaster such as a hurricane may affect you and your family. Making sure all important insurance documents are in an easily accessible place and stocking up on non-perishables and bottled water isn’t all you should be doing to prepare. You should also call your estate planning lawyer to make sure all your documents are up-to-date. You can call our office at 504-541-9020 and speak to one of our estate planning attorneys.
What’s the Worst That Could Happen?
In the midst of a storm, people worry about what will happen to their children, pets, homes and other personal belongings. But you should also think about what if something happens to YOU? What happens to your spouse, your children, your pets, and your home and belongings if you were to become incapacitated or die? Do you have your wishes written down somewhere? Have you talked to your loved ones about what to do in that situation? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I have specific wishes that I want to be carried out upon my death or incapacity?
- Do I have someone I can trust to carry out decisions for me should I die or become incapacitated?
- Do I have legal guardianship over any minor children?
- Do I have someone who can care for my pets if I am no longer able to do so?
If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, it’s time to create an estate plan for yourself… preferably before a hurricane comes anywhere close to us.
If You Already Have an Estate Plan
If your estate plan hasn’t been updated recently, then it’s probably time for an update. Chances are, things have changed over the last couple years but your estate plan does not reflect those changes. You should review your Last Will and Testament and Power of Attorney documents every few years to make sure everything is still as you want it. Things that can affect an estate plan are births, deaths, marriages, divorces, etc. Be sure to double check your beneficiary designations on retirement accounts and life insurance policies are up-to-date, as those are considered non-probatable assets and are not part of your estate.
If you need assistance creating an estate plan or making changes to your current documents, give us a call at 504-541-9020!