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Estate planning—the ultimate gift of love to surviving family members

As human beings, we all spend a tremendous amount of time and energy worrying. In many cases, the sources of our worry are about future unknowns and things that we feel as though we have little to no control over or power to affect. This is often especially the case when it comes to issues and concerns related to end-of-life matters.

For many people, even thinking about drafting a will or a health-care directive produces severe anxiety as both revolve around attempting to plan for unknown and uncontrollable circumstances. In reality, when it comes to one's future care and end-of-life matters, there are many things that an individual can plan for and have control over. What's more, taking steps today to plan for one's future healthcare needs and the distribution of one's personal belongings and assets takes a tremendous amount of pressure off of a surviving spouse and children.


Individuals who fail to maintain and update a will and make their end-of-life wishes known ultimately make things much harder on loved ones who are otherwise forced to make decisions while dealing with their own deep emotional pain. Additionally, without a will, many important decisions related to one's estate are made by the state, which forces loved ones to endure a lengthy and costly probate process.

For most people the main goals of an estate plan are to provide for the future financial security of loved ones, ensure one's personal possessions pass to intended loved ones and spare loved ones the burden of dealing with making these types of decisions. It's never, therefore, too early or too late to draft a will and living will and doing so is ultimately one of the most loving gifts that any grandparent or parent can give to surviving family members.

Source: MPR News, "Estate planning: Where to begin, 5 things to know," Kerri Miller, Aug. 13, 2015

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