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The Importance of Estate Planning: Insights from Recent News

BY: Law Offices of Andrew Cohen | May 16, 2023

As we navigate through life, the importance of planning for the future cannot be overstated. At the Law Offices of Andrew Cohen, we understand this truth and want to help you secure a well-planned future for your loved ones. In light of recent events, it’s become even clearer that estate planning is a necessity, not a luxury. Let’s delve into some recent news stories that illustrate this critical need.

In early 2023, a high-profile case grabbed headlines nationwide. A well-known entrepreneur passed away unexpectedly without a will or estate plan in place. What followed was a contentious battle among family members, business partners, and creditors over the distribution of his substantial assets. This unfortunate scenario has shone a spotlight on the absolute necessity of having a comprehensive estate plan, irrespective of age or health status.

Then there was the story of a beloved artist who, having created a comprehensive estate plan, ensured a smooth transition of her vast intellectual property rights and other assets to her chosen beneficiaries. Her fans mourned her loss, but her family didn’t have to bear the added burden of legal complications or public disputes over her legacy. This story underscores the peace of mind that a well-structured estate plan can bring.

At the Law Offices of Andrew Cohen, we can help you avoid such pitfalls. We specialize in crafting personalized estate plans that cover all contingencies. Whether you’re young and just starting or you’re enjoying your golden years, it’s never too early or too late to plan for the future.

The first step in estate planning is creating a will. This legal document outlines how you want your assets distributed after your death. Without it, the state decides who gets what, and this may not align with your wishes.

Next is setting up a durable power of attorney (POA) that designates someone to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. A recent news story detailed a case where a person fell into a coma without a POA. The family was left in a legal limbo, unable to access funds to pay for medical care.

Healthcare directives are equally essential. They specify what kind of medical treatment you wish to receive if you can’t make decisions yourself. In 2023, a case made headlines when a family was torn apart over the medical treatment of a loved one who didn’t have a healthcare directive.

Trusts are another crucial component. They allow you to control how your assets are distributed, provide for minor children or dependents with special needs, and can even help minimize estate taxes.

Beneficiary designations on insurance policies and retirement accounts are also an integral part of an estate plan. An incident in 2023 saw a man’s ex-wife receive his life insurance proceeds because he failed to update his beneficiary after divorce.

Estate planning is not just about dividing assets; it’s about ensuring that your wishes are respected, and your loved ones are cared for and not burdened with unnecessary complications. Our team at the Law Offices of Andrew Cohen is here to guide you through every step of this important process.

If you’re ready to start planning for the future, give us a call at 661-481-0100. We’re here to listen, provide professional advice, and help you create an estate plan that gives you and your family peace of mind. Remember, it’s not just about planning for the end—it’s about planning for the future.

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