Who ever heard of a lawyer without a will? It is about that time of year that most of our New Year Resolutions have gone by the wayside. I am not big on resolutions but admit to having a few. Some were business-oriented, including a promise to myself to update our law firm blog more frequently with interesting and informative articles. Others were more personal. So as I write tonight, I have decided to get back to those resolutions and kill two birds with one stone.
To do so, I need to make a confession. Well, two confessions. The first is that this is the first article I have written in 2016. The second may surprise you a bit more. I am a lawyer without a will, an attorney without a power of attorney, a specialist in estate planning without an estate plan. That’s right. No Will. No Power of Attorney. No Advanced Health Care Directive.
Is this simply a case of the cobbler’s kids having no shoes? Simple procrastination? I’m not sure, but I think it goes a bit deeper than that. I suspect that I have the same thoughts as most people. The first is simple mortality. Nobody wants to think about dying or becoming incapable of making decisions. Another is time. Drafting wills is something we do when we get old, right? Although, as the years go by and time seems to fly faster each day, I may have to let that excuse go. The bottom line is that it is time to let all of the excuses go.
Hundreds of clients have walked through our doors and left with an individualized estate plan that gives them peace of mind knowing that their wishes will be carried out. Whether the main concern is asset protection, probate avoidance, estate tax planning, or simply knowing that the right person has been chosen to carry out health care or financial decisions, estate planning is necessary. It doesn’t matter how large or small you perceive your estate to be.
Well, I have killed one bird by writing this entry. Tomorrow, I promise to walk down the hall and make an appointment with my estate planning attorney and take care of the second, so I will no longer be a lawyer without a will. Now, that resolution about getting to the gym more often is proving a bit more difficult.
Joan Reed Wilson Esq. – Managing Partner
Practices in the areas of estate planning, elder law, Medicaid planning, conservatorships, probate and trust administration, and real estate. Admitted to practice in the States of Connecticut and California, she is the Vice President of the CT Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), an active member of the Elder Law Section of the Connecticut Bar Association, accredited with the PLAN of CT for Pooled Trusts, with the Veteran’s Administration to assist clients with obtaining Aid & Attendance benefits for long-term care needs and with the Agency on Aging’s CareLink Network.