"New Normal" - Remote Witnessing for Wills and Powers of Attorney
If you have been (binge) watching "Tiger King" like us, a new Netflix documentary series, you are no doubt aware of the allegation that Carole Baskin (the operator of Big Cat Rescue in Florida) murdered her first husband, Don Lewis, and fed him to her tigers. Joe Exotic, the now-imprisoned "Tiger King" himself, theorizes that she did this to gain control of his substantial assets and take over their shared tiger sanctuary. Not exactly a credible source, but an interesting theory nonetheless.
Estate planning is making arrangements for your personal and financial affairs to be looked after in the event of your passing, or your inability to make decisions for yourself. Many people may think that a will alone is sufficient, but estate planning goes far beyond the creation of a will.
You've written your will and were very happy with it at the time. But circumstances change. Maybe you're getting married. Maybe you are disagreeing with a planned beneficiary and want to delete them from your will. Maybe your newborn child must be included in your will. Perhaps a beneficiary has died with no heirs for your bequest to go to - or has died and you don't want to leave anything to your proposed beneficiary's heirs.
Realizing that an aging loved one may no longer be able to care for him or herself can be disheartening. To watch someone that you used to look up to and rely on throughout your life decline physically and/or mentally may lead you to decide that he or she needs help.
You're probably not running around frantically trying to write your will. No one likes to think about his or her own demise, but the fact is, writing a will is the only certain way you have of letting your loved ones know your last wishes.
Giving someone power to make healthcare decisions for you when you aren't able to make them yourself is placing a great deal of trust in that person. It's important that whomever you choose for the task is aware of your wishes and will honestly act in your best interests -- to make the decisions you likely would have made for yourself.
Estate planning is about much more than what you leave for your heirs after you die. You may even be avoiding thinking about planning your estate because you might associate it with your ultimate demise, and who wants to think about that? But it's not just about you, it's about your family too and what would be best for them.