Get 2020 Vision in 2020! Greg lays out a 4 step plan to FINALLY get that much needed plan in place that brings with it the peace of mind and clarity you so justly deserve. Learn More: mcelderlaw.com/estateplanning
Happy new year, happy new year’s resolution, I’ve been working on it. I love this time of year. I love the play on 2020 too, I can’t believe we’re in 2020 right now. It’s a new year. It’s a new decade and it’s a perfect time to make a new plan and let me tell you what I mean. I’ve been making plans, I’ve been meeting with Brenton another attorney in our office. We’ve been making plans. My wife and I are working on plans for our business and working on plans for our personal. We’re working on personal plans. This Saturday we’re meeting and really concentrating on planning what we want to do this year. We have a child in college, we have five more at home and we have some goals we’d like to hit ourselves this year as far as maybe trying to save a little money and maybe pay down some student loans, things like that. Just talking about some different things we’re working on and trying to get on the same page and make sure we’re both working together.
I love this time of year because it gives us those opportunities. And if we plan right, I’ve found if I plan correctly, if I really dig deep and do the work, then I can come out of this planning period going into the new year because there’s really nothing different about this time of year. It’s another trip around the sun and we celebrate it and that’s great but you could plan continuously. I just kind of take this time out several weeks and weekends around this time of year to really engage in some planning so that I can set up the year. I find that I have peace of mind and kind of run on autopilot when I can really get my plan down, especially if I have multiple people that are on the same page with me that are working on the same goals and plans, then it’s easier to get there and it’s fun to get there together as a team.
So that’s what we’ve been working on. Hey I’m going to be on Charlotte Today Show coming up, but it’s going to be January 22nd, Wednesday, January 22nd and we’re going to be talking about just this, about getting clear vision in 2020, about elder law is clarity. And what I mean when I say elder law is clarity, I mean it helps you get clear. It helps you see clearly what you want and I have a little formula for how to get there. Okay? And let me tell you what that is. Want to hear it? Here it goes.
2020 vision in 2020, what that means to me is the same thing I’m engaging in right now with planning with our firm, with planning at home personally. Try to involve the kids in the planning too and talk to them because I want them to set goals. I want them to have peace of mind. I want them to have direction. Ever try to hit a target or how about ever try to achieve something without having a target? I mean it’s much better when you can have your targets to find, when you know what your goals are and what you’re working on. So from an estate planning perspective, it’s an amazing time for families to get together, same way, to talk husband and wife, to talk with the kids if you need to, to talk with those people who you might want to be your financial agent if something happened or make healthcare decisions for you or be the executor on your will. Tell those people, communicate, families, everything works better with open communication.
So I would say first review what you have, review the estate planning documents that you have. If it’s a will, we see wills all the time that might not be probatable because they don’t have the requisite number of signatures or notaries or the correct language. They’re not self-proving. Maybe you’re leaving something to your wife and maybe it’s your ex wife or, maybe she’s named in there. I don’t know, there could be a lot of changes. So maybe people have passed away, maybe you’ve accumulated more assets, but reviewing is extremely important. So that’s the first step in my opinion.
How about your powers of attorney? Do your powers of attorney meet your needs? Do you have backups? Because if not, and say your spouse is your attorney in fact, your agent, and then you did those 10 years ago, heaven forbid something happens to your spouse that leaves you out in the cold. So we want to put a secondary person that you trust 100% to be able to handle your financial decisions so we can implement plans.
Take inventory, number two. So first review, review first, review what you have. That’ll put you in a good mindset of bringing you up to date. Then number two, take inventory of what you have now. Take inventory of what you have now, if you want a good workbook to work through, and it’s a few pages, but a good workbook to work through, sign up for our e-newsletter and I have it set up to send it to you automatically and it’s our estate planning workbook, okay? Go to mcelderlaw.com. M-C-E-L-D-E-R-L-A-W.com. Mcelderlaw.com. Sign up for our e-newsletter and you can sign up right there on the front page of the website and it will give you an estate planning workbook, okay? And it’ll allow you to list your inventory, who your family is, right? Inventory your family and inventory your assets, both, and this workbook will allow you to do both.
And that’s extremely important because what that’s going to do when you review and you think about what you had and how things changed and how your documents are working, how your estate plan is working or not working for you now. And then you review your assets. Now you’re in the mindset, you have your head wrapped around exactly what you have. I always find that I have anxiety, no kidding, when I have a lack of data or there’s negative data or bad data, scary data that I ignore, right? Or that I’m ignoring. Right? So there’s either usually when I’m feeling anxiety at work or at home or somewhere else it’s either I don’t know everything, I don’t have all the facts or there are facts that I kind of know, I’m just ignoring them. And trust me, I can go on ignoring things like that for a long time. I think we as human beings can ignore or let things go for a long time or ignore bad facts or bad data.
So you want to pay attention. Those gut feelings are evolutionarily what tells us that something’s wrong, okay? Or we need to do something. I’m still learning to listen to that gut to say, “Okay, I’m feeling something over here. Let me look over there and really find out what’s going on. Look under the hood. Maybe it’s in the business or something else,” and really fix it. Okay? Same thing with estate planning with our families, with our assets, with our legal plans.
So once I dig through the data, good or bad, good or bad, at least I know what’s going on. I have control at that point and I can make changes or fix things. That’s extremely important. And that’s what taking inventory is all about. Whether you want to or not and you know you’ve been putting it off because I put it off too, take inventory. So one is review your docs, two is take inventory, and then three, define your goals, okay? Define your goals.
What I mean by defining your goals is what are your plans? Are your plans to take a cruise the last 10 years of your life? Are your plans to downsize your home and buy a home in a senior community or active older adult community? Are your plans to protect assets and maybe help send the grandkids to college or really preserve the home and pass that along to the kids? There’s a number of worthwhile goals out there, but let’s define what those are. And I find that my goals become really clear, elder law is clarity remember, and we’re in 2020 so we want 2020 vision in 2020. I get really clear, I get that 2020 vision and that clarity once I know all the facts. And it’s easier for me to define and set my goals.
So then once I’ve set my goals, meet and discuss, that’s number four. Meet and discuss. Meet and discuss with the family if that’s important. Some people don’t want to discuss it with the family and for good reason, but at least either way you can always meet and discuss with a professional. A professional would be, for estate planning and elder law, who do you know that might be able to help? Oddly enough, we would be glad to help. If you would like for us to meet you and talk about a new year and a new plan and peace of mind. I find that peace of mind, so much peace comes along with knowing the data, setting the goals and then if I need to meet with a professional. Hey, I’m all about meeting with a professional to get things done.
Give us a call, (704) 749-9244 or go online, contact us at mcelderlaw.com. And don’t forget to sign up for our e-newsletter on our website so you get that estate planning workbook. Have a great evening.