Estate Planning in the Autumn of Your Life

By Mildred V. Palmer, Attorney at Law

Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC

As I write this, Arlington Heights is filled with sure signs that Fall is approaching. Football teams are practicing, schools are bustling, and there is a little hint of coolness to the evening air. We tend to prepare for autumn. School supplies and jackets come out. We tend to gardens and check our cars. Are you ready for the autumn of your life?

Just as the leaves turn to orange, red and gold, maybe you are starting to see visible changes in your life and the lives of those around you. Take stock of those changes.
Life Changing Health Care: As we age, the shock of catastrophic health problems picks of frequency. Did you hear that Bob has cancer? Did you know that Mary had a heart attack? The questions increase in tempo. My advice, be like a boy scout: be prepared. Get a physical. Name a health care agent. Designate your health care agent in a power of attorney for health care. Communicate your wishes with your family. Authorize your family to speak with physicians and health care providers. Check your insurance coverage.

Life Changing Family Structure: Every five to seven years our family structure changes. Ask yourself this question, what has changed in the last few years? Do you have daughters and sons in law? Are their grandchildren in your life? Do you like and trust the people in your life and in the lives of your children? Some of the changes that come with autumn are welcome. Others are not. Do you have a plan in place that reflects the reality of your life? Now is the time to make decisions and put them in writing. Execute a will and possibly a trust to reflect life’s reality.

Life Changing Financial Structure: In the autumn of our lives we tend to settle in for warm days and cool nights, knowing all the while that winter is coming. Maybe you are retiring or thinking of a second career? Maybe you are preparing for the big trip that you saved for year after year. Are you ready for this time? If a source of income were to disappear, what would your options include? My advice for autumn, meet with a financial advisor and your CPA to review your financial assets. Execute a power of attorney for property to designate a person who could access funds for you if you were to become disabled.

Autumn is more than rooting for (or moaning about) Da Bears. It is more than eating bowls of chili and taking walks under falling leaves. It is a time for preparation for the winter to come and a time to review the summer we just had. Prepare for the autumn of your life. With a little planning, watching the leaves change and the seasons roll by can be a joyous time.

Should you have any questions about estate planning, or would like to schedule a free initial consultation, please contact Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC at (847)253-8800 or contact us online.

Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC is a full-service law firm with various areas of service to assist your business, including: Employment Law, Intellectual Property, Commercial Real Estate, Business Immigration, Litigation and general Business Law services. Individual services include Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Probate, Guardianship, Divorce and Family Law.

This article constitutes attorney advertising. The material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.