Failure to Update a Plan Nightmare

Estate planning takes time. Unfortunately, considering the daily time stresses faced by all local residents, our New York elder law estate planning attorneys appreciate that there is often not a sense of “urgency” with this planning. It is usually a task that gets pushed to the side while day-to-day choeres are dealt with.

Yet, there are many individuals out there who can testify about the consequences of failing to plan their estate.

For example, one recent editorial shared that story of a husband and wife who had been married for one year. The husband was waiting for a liver transplant and despite his precarious health situation the couple did not do any estate planning, thinking they had “plenty of time.” This would prove incredibly harmful for the family.

Their nightmare began when the husband suffered from brain damage following an unfortunate incident, which occurred while recovering for a routine knee surgery. Incapable of making decisions on his own and before his condition was fully assessed; he emptied his bank account and used his credit card to buy a valueless boat. It is not uncommon for brain injury victims to suffer from bizarre personal conduct. This includes seniors with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

The conduct in this case wiped out the family savings.

After this incident, the wife tried to obtain guardianship of her husband. However, doing so proved incredibly difficult, because the family resources were almost entirely extinguished due to the husband’s conduct following the injury.

The husband had conducted some estate planning years before, naming an old army buddy as his agent. This only made the wife’s situation harder since the army buddy did not want to get involved in their mess but he was forced to negotiate since he was the only one with the legal power to manage her husband’s finances.

As this situation demonstrates, a failure to update one’s estate can result in the same catastrophic consequences as the failure to conduct any planning at all. In order to avoid such these situations, make sure you and your spouse have taken up the task of contacting an elder law estate planning attorney who will help you in planning your estate and to update your individual estate whenever you are experiencing a major event in your life.

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