*Contributed by Marie T. Chin, Estate Planning Coordinator
“Every patient is someone’s most important person”. This was the quote on my desk calendar that I saw every day for the entire month of July. At Procino-Wells & Woodland, I am so proud to be a part of a team that sees each client as “someone’s most important person”. When someone comes into our office, they are typically dealing with preparing for death or with the recent loss of a loved one. These are incredibly difficult conversations to have and I am grateful to be part of a team that not only acknowledges this but is there through the entire process. From supplying freshly baked cookies, to having tissues on hand for all the hard conversations this is a philosophy that I see followed every day.
This quote not only relates to how we treat our clients, but it also made me think about how we treat the most important people in our own lives. I have seen clients come in who recently lost a loved one who had no estate planning done. They are not only dealing with a devastating loss, but also have to go through an incredible amount of work during a time where it can be difficult to think clearly. I have also seen clients come in who have worked hard and saved money their entire lives, but have done no planning to protect assets, and now have a spouse in a nursing home and are seeing all of their hard-earned money disappear every month. These are very hard things to think about when you are young and healthy. A recent survey from Caring.com found that only 4 in 10 Americans have a will or living trust. Most people think that they will live a healthy life well into their 80’s and 90’s but this is not usually the case.
Ask yourself: If the most important people in your lives get sick and need professional care at home or in a nursing home would they want to see their money depleted to cover the costs? When you pass away, would you want the most important people in your life to be left with months of paperwork and deadlines to administer your estate? Wouldn’t you rather make the hard choices when you are of sound mind and body, and protect the important people in your life?
Thinking about death, old age, and illness, seem like very far away things no matter your age. They are difficult conversations to have, but so important. Remember, everyone is “someone’s most important person”. Don’t you want the most important people in your life to be taken care of?