With the stores packed, traffic horrendous and holiday parties in full swing, the period between Thanksgiving and New Years Day is undoubtedly one of the most dangerous travel time of the year. Atlanta, Georgia lawyer, Steve Worrall urges families to be prepared by making necessary updates to their will, trust or other estate planning documents prior to the hustle and bustle of the season.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – it’s that time of the year again where the stores are packed, traffic is horrendous and holiday parties are in full swing. And no matter what holiday you celebrate, this is certainly not the safest time to be out-and-about on the roads.
Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve in 2002 alone, alcohol related crashes killed 1,561 people. That doesn’t even account for the people who were simply injured or incapacitated for any length of time from their injuries.
According to Atlanta GA estate planning lawyer, Steve Worrall, the holidays are the perfect time to make sure your will, trust or other estate planning documents are updated so your family stays protected should something unexpectedly happen to you.
“The holidays are a really smart time to make sure your estate plan is exactly how you want it to be should something unexpectedly happen to you and/or your spouse,” says Worrall. “Without an updated estate plan, your children could be left at the mercy of the courts, your assets in limbo and your physical or medical wishes may not be honored in the event of an accident,” he adds.
Specifically, Worrall offers four things to consider when updating your estate plan prior to the holiday season:
- Guardianship nominations: Have you named guardians to care for your children if something happens to you? Have you made sure those guardians will have the financial resources to care for your kids in your absence? Are you even happy with the people you originally chose to care for your kids? Worrall says if you answered no to any of these questions, it’s time to pull your plan out of the drawer and make a few key changes.
- The effect of marriage, divorce or remarriage- Is your ex-spouse still set to get half of what you own according to the directions of your prior estate plan? If so, according to Worrall it’s time to update! He recommends reviewing your plan carefully to make sure your beneficiaries are exactly as they should be in case something unexpectedly happens to you.
- Are your assets owned properly in the name of your trust- If you have a trust, Worrall says now is a great time to take an inventory of your assets and make sure they are owned properly in the name of that trust. This is one of the most common reasons an estate plan will fail at the end of a person’s life.
- Do you have medical directives and POA’s if you are incapacitated? If you are incapacitated in an accident but do not die, Worrall advises that you’ll need clear medical directives and power of attorney forms so someone you trust can make medical and financial decisions until you are able to speak for yourself. If medical directives and POA’s were not included in your original plan, speak with a qualified attorney to have them drawn up before the hustle and bustle of the season starts.
“An updated estate plan is the greatest gift you can give to your family over the holiday season, “ says Worrall. “It’s the only way to make sure your children, assets and wishes will stay protected should something happen to you during this dangerous time of the year,” he adds.
For more information about Steve Worrall, please visit http://georgiafamilylaw.com or call 770-425-6060.