It’s almost unbelievable that this Friday will be the first day of Fall! Although these unusually warm September days make it difficult to believe pumpkin-spice season is already here, chilled Autumn days will be blowing in quickly. Many of us will start settling in with heavy blankets and hot chocolate, and breaking bread over comforting crock-pot meals with loved ones. A rightfully-so time of rest, as the holidays aren’t too far behind. Pretty soon, we’ll be trying to pack Black Friday shopping, Turkey Trots, and holiday cheer into even shorter days.

I think I speak for everyone when I say that I savor these few, brief weeks of chilly nights indoors with cozy clothes and something warm in my mug. It brings me a sense of comfort unlike much else. From my own experience and those of my clients, I can confidently say that estate planning is one of those peace-bringing sensations. And ironically enough, Fall and estate planning go together like donuts and apple cider!

Fall into Estate Planning

The next few months are truly the perfect time of year to do your estate planning. If you think about it:

  • Winter is, well, winter. November through January is a blur of holidays, family get-togethers, shopping, and of course, eating. Most people don’t have estate planning on their minds. And after the holidays are over and bitter cold is our everyday reality, few want to venture out into the cold and snow, especially when it gets dark at 5:00 p.m.
  • And once we’ve thawed out enough to realize Spring has sprung, we’re frazzled with tax time, despite the fact that it happens every year, virtually on the same day.. Even if you’re not a CPA or attorney inundated by the mountains of last minute filers, getting even your individual taxes completed can seem like a major feat that warrants a major commendation once completed.
  • Then comes summer. Summer is a cherished season, especially in Michigan and other areas of the Midwest. When it’s here, we want to enjoy it. With beach trips, kids home from school, reunions, graduations, barbeques, and family vacations, who has time to think about estate planning?
  • Which brings us to fall. The kids are back to school and out of the house. The weather is generally mild and the fall colors are amazing. The new normal is established and aside from football and Halloween, there aren’t a ton of distractions.

Family on the Mind

We understand that it’s easy to procrastinate. No one likes thinking about the “what ifs” that life can bring. Estate planning is kind of like having insurance. If you have a house or a car, most of you wouldn’t even consider not having home or auto insurance. Same with health insurance. And once you’ve had children, usually life insurance becomes very important. Estate planning is equally important. Regardless of the time of year, you are almost always thinking about your loved ones. So why not give you and them that peace of mind by creating an estate plan?

The peace of mind that estate planning provides includes, but isn’t limited to:

  • Knowing someone you trust will be there to make your medical decisions for you if you become unable to so for yourself
  • Being able to determine what future care and medical treatment you want, or perhaps don’t want
  • Having the power to determine who will handle your financial affairs if you can no longer do so yourself
  • Determining who will take custody of your minor children if something should happen to you
  • Defining who will handle your estate after you are gone
  • Avoiding probate court
  • Deciding who you want to inherit what, instead of leaving that up to the state
  • Controlling when your beneficiaries can inherit and what the funds can be used for, such as education trusts for younger beneficiaries
  • And, sometimes, even reducing estate taxes

So what are you waiting for? There’s no time like the present! Contact us to get started today – You can even enjoy the crisp fall air of downtown Royal Oak on a visit to our office! or 248.399.3300.