In the most important episode of his life Paul Revere did not fire a shot. But his willingness to spread the alarm averted what could have been an early military disaster for the revolutionists of Massachusetts Bay.
Planners, too, in addition to fulfillment of their usual responsibilities must fill the role of an alarmist if they are to keep their clientele financially whole.
The sad truth is that if your clients do not take the time to plan correctly the government is poised to do it for them poorly when the need arises.
State laws allows for a citizens to assure that their affairs are handled according to their wishes, but they must takes steps to document their intentions properly.
Proper documentation can be achieved through the execution of these three basic planning documents:
- A durable Power of Attorney that permits an appointed agent (attorney-in-fact) to conduct financial transactions for your client under the terms expressed.
- A Health Care Directive (a/k/a – healthcare proxy, living will, durable power of attorney for health care) that appoints an agent to make health care decisions if the client becomes unable to do so.
- A Last Will & Testament that, upon death, allows the client to a) decide who will receive the assets owned by the client, b) appoint who will manage those assets, c) state preferences for the guardian of the client’s minor children, and d) appoint trustees of trusts created by the Will.
If these are not in place a client must understand that there is legislation in every state that will make these decisions for them.
Broaden the influence you have with and the comprehensiveness of the service you provide to your clients by asking them if they have taken the time have drafted at least the three fundamental planning documents listed above.
We do not practice law or offer legal advice (nor do you), but will look at a client’s planning documents to direct them better when they have them reviewed by legal counsel. Give us a call.