Estate planning attorneys do a lot of talking and writing about how to plan and what to plan for. But they don’t always offer much practical advice on what to expect in the immediate aftermath of your loved one’s unexpected passing. I’m not talking about the week after, or even the day after– Do you know what you should do or expect if you came home to find that a loved one passed away unexpectedly? Here are some things you should know, based on my own human experience and from years of work in my former life as a police officer and emergency medical technician.
The uberwealthy are often in the news for the large amounts of cash they funnel into their private foundations and other charities. But it’s important to realize that those of us who aren’t in the upper echelon can still give back to the causes we’re passionate about. One of those ways is through a charitable bequest– a gift made as part of your Will or Trust.
I returned to my alma mater again this year to deliver a repeat performance on the principles of negligence to a Higher Education Law and Public Policy class. Hopefully the students enjoyed the assignment as much as I did.
A super powered financial plan should include a safety net in case you become incapacitated unexpectedly– Someone you trust should be able to step into your shoes and handle your legal and financial affairs. You, too, can have that “super power” through a durable power of attorney. It won’t help you run faster than a speeding bullet or leap tall buildings in a single bound, but a plan that includes a durable power of attorney will enhance your financial security so you can live your best life with one less thing to worry about.
Everyone should periodically review and update beneficiary designations on insurance policies, bank accounts, and retirement plans. But due to federal employee-benefit laws, divorced individuals need to be even more diligent about this, especially with respect to employer-sponsored plans. By being active in your estate planning, you can make sure that your hard work transfers to your intended beneficiaries according to your wishes.
Police officers are out there risking their lives every day to protect the public. Yet many do not have wills or other estate planning documents in place to protect themselves and their families. Click the article below to find out more. If you or someone you love works in public safety, don’t be afraid to start this conversation.
This article originally appeared in the Winter 2019 edition of Michigan Police Chiefs magazine, an official publication of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police. Click here to view the full magazine.