Estate Planning is Love
As a society, we often associate love with grand gestures or grand gifts. However, one of the most loving things you can do for your family is to make sure that your affairs are in order before you become incapacitated or die. This includes creating an estate plan.
An estate plan is a set of legal documents that outline how you want your assets to be managed and distributed upon your death. If you have minor children, it also involves providing for who will take care of your children, and what resources will be available to them. Estate planning can include a will, trust, power of attorney, and advance healthcare directive. Having an estate plan in place can provide peace of mind for both you and your loved ones, knowing that your wishes will be followed and that your family will be taken care of.
While it may be tempting to try to handle the estate planning process on your own, hiring a lawyer to assist with the process is a loving gesture for several reasons. Although the cost may be more in the short term, the long-term benefits – both financial and emotional – will far outweigh the short-term costs.
First, a lawyer can ensure that your estate plan is legally valid and enforceable. Estate planning laws vary by state, and it is important to make sure that your documents comply with the law in your jurisdiction. A lawyer can also identify any potential issues or complications and provide solutions to address them.
Second, a lawyer can provide personalized advice based on your specific circumstances. No two estate plans are the same, and a lawyer can help you tailor your plan to fit your needs and goals. This can include taking into account the size and complexity of your estate, your family dynamics, and any potential tax implications.
Finally, hiring a lawyer to create your estate plan is a loving gesture because it shows that you care about the well-being of your loved ones and want to make things as easy as possible for them during a difficult time. By taking the time to plan ahead and put clear instructions in place now, you can save your family from having to make difficult decisions on your behalf. You can also spare them from having to navigate a complicated legal process, wherein generic legal defaults take the place of your specific, individual preferences.
Don't wait until it's too late – call today to ask about working with Wysocki Law, PLLC to develop your estate plan now.
No one ever "wins" a divorce
Divorce very often is a difficult and emotionally charged process. It's natural for people to want to come out on top in the legal proceedings. However, the reality is that no one ever truly "wins" a divorce.
While it may be possible for one party to receive a favorable outcome in terms of asset division or custody arrangements, the truth is any time a divorce is litigated, both parties lose. The end of a marriage means the end of a partnership and the dissolution of a family unit. It's important to remember that the ultimate goal of the divorce process should be to find a resolution that allows both parties to move forward in the best way possible, rather than trying to "win" at the other party's expense.
One way to achieve this goal is through the use of mediation. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that allows divorcing parties to work out their differences with the help of a neutral third party mediator. The mediator does not make decisions for the parties, but rather helps facilitate communication and encourages the parties to find a workable compromise that enables them to move on from the marriage.
On the other hand, when the court dictates to two adults how to live their lives and what they can and cannot do with their their kids, these orders can be very difficult to enforce against someone who feels that the orders are unfair. Sometimes court orders that favor one party result in ongoing litigation wherein the disfavored party relentlessly seeks to overturn the orders for years on end in pursuit of some personal ideal of "justice."
Mediation has a number of advantages over court. It is often faster and less expensive than going to court, and it allows the parties to have more control over the outcome of their divorce. In addition, mediation can be a less stressful and more respectful way to resolve conflicts, as it allows the parties to work through their differences in a private setting, rather than airing all their dirty laundry in a public courtroom. Parties can be more creative in mediation than in court and can design solutions that uniquely work for their family. The court, on the other hand, is more likely to produce cookie-cutter solutions fit for "average" families, and we know that no family is average. No judge is privy to the innermost workings of a family; the people best situated to find solutions that work for their unique families are the divorcing spouses themselves.
Overall, it's important to remember that divorce is never a win-lose situation. Spouses have fiduciary duties towards each other that do not end just because a divorce has been filed. By working towards a resolution through the use of mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution, divorcing parties can find a way to move forward from the marriage that works for them and their families. Mediated resolutions tend to bring more peace to a family over the long run.
These posts are written in collaboration with our valued friends and colleagues. We welcome your ideas for future musings.