3 Times It Is Too Late For An Estate Plan

If you are reading this it's not too late, but tomorrow it might be. Find out when it's too late to get an estate plan.


The following is a transcript of the above video:

Hey Folks, welcome to episode 22 of Estate Planning Weekly. This week we are talking about three times it's too late to get your estate plan done.

I'm your host, as always, Don Rolfe, the owner and founder of Northwest Will Planning and Estate Planning and Probate Law Firm, located in West Linn, Oregon. 

So, the three times that came to the top of my head when I decided to make this video, when it's too late to make an estate plan. T

he first time is when you become incapacitated. So, this can be for healthcare related reasons, and also for distributing your assets. So if you're injured, let's say you're in an auto accident, or some other type of injury. You get hit by a foul ball at a baseball game, and you're unconscious, unable to speak for yourself, to make decisions, at that point obviously you're not going to be able to put an estate plan in place, and it's a time when a comprehensive estate plan would be a great benefit to you.

You could have made decisions in your advanced directive and your healthcare power of attorney as to what types of treatments you would or would not like to receive, who your healthcare agent would be: the person making decisions for you, which loved ones you would allow access to your medical records so they could talk to physicians and facilities about your diagnosis and what's going on.

But once you become incapacitated healthcare wise, you know, you're not gonna be able to make those decisions until you recover.

And then later in life, a lot of people, unfortunately, will suffer from some sort of dementia or memory loss, and they won't have the capacity to create an estate plan at that point in time. You have to have, you have to know what's going on. You have to be lucid in order to create an estate plan. So if you wait too long and dementia or some other form of memory loss affects you, and you're unable to know what's going on, you're just not going to be able to make an estate plan at that point, and the intestacy statutes will step in when you do pass away, and that will determine who will get your assets.

The second time it's too late for an estate plan, is if you are considering doing Medicaid planning. Now I am not an elder law attorney, I don't do Medicaid planning, but I have a grasp of it, just enough to know that at a certain point, once you have started to make payments for long term care, or an assisted living facility that as time goes on you have less and less opportunity to try to save and retain some of those assets and get them out of your estate in order to help you qualify for Medicaid. So if that's something that you think is coming down the road, and you have a lump of assets that you would like to preserve and not spend eight to nine thousand dollars a month, whatever it is, for an assisted living facility in your later years, you wanna make sure that if that's something you see coming on the horizon, you're talking to an elder law attorney about that and getting that plan in place before it is too late.

And then the third time that it is absolutely, no coming back from it too late to create an estate plan is after you're gone. And I wish that there was a way to tell you when that time is going to happen, when it's going to be too late because you've passed away.

Unfortunately, none of us know when that's going to happen. I'm 42 years old, and I don't know how many more years I have left, or days, right? I could live to be 115, or tomorrow could be that fateful meeting with a bus, I just don't know.

However, when that day comes, if I didn't have an estate plan in place, then it's too late, and the intestacy statutes, once again, are going to creep in, and they're gonna take over, and they're gonna determine who's going to inherit from me, who's going to get my things, and if I still have minor children, which at the recording of this video I have two three years olds, if they're still minors when I'm gone and my wife is gone as well, then they are going to be put in the custody of probably Child Protective Services for a while until a family member can provide an adequate home for them, and then someone is going to have to be appointed as their guardian, and that decision will be made by a judge. Not something that I want to have happen, I want to make that decision. I wanna know where they're going to be. I wanna have that peace of mind.

So, by the way, if you have any questions about this or any other estate planning topic, you can talk to me absolutely free about that, and I will answer any questions that you have. All you have to do is go to myestateplanmeeting.com, and there's a calendar there. You can schedule a consultation with me for 30 minutes, an estate planning strategy session where I'll answer questions, and we can talk about what type of estate plan would be right for you. And you go to that website, plug in your information, and it pops up on my calendar, and we'll meet when you decide. Or, you can leave a comment below. I love answering questions in the comments, but if it is private, and it's something that probably shouldn't be out for public consumption, do just go to myestateplanmeeting.com and schedule that meeting if you're so inclined.

So again, the three times that it's too late to make an estate plan, is one, if you've lost capacity, whether that's from an accident or decreased mental faculties. The second time is if you're planning for Medicaid, and you need to save some assets. Again, I'm not an elder law attorney, but I know that at a certain point, you're gonna get diminishing returns on that. So, if you see it coming on the horizon, please do seek counsel and see if that's something you need a plan for. And then number three, is after you've passed away, obviously you're not gonna be able to make an estate plan anymore, and if you haven't, then it goes to the intestacy statutes which are the state's blanket estate plan that they've created for everyone.

Again, if you have any questions, do feel free to schedule a consultation with me, at myestateplanmeeting.com. Until next week, take care, bye.

About the Author Donald Rolfe

Father, husband, entrepreneur, and owner of a trivia filled brain. I help families and individuals plan for the unexpected and end of life. Schedule a Complimentary Strategy Session to chat with me, get answers to your questions, and find out about your Estate Plan options.

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