Design appears everywhere. From spider web to bridge spans, structure supports purpose. Trees have it, bees live it, and the earth orbits around it. Designs in nature inspire some while others procrastinate as time wears away incentive. When this happens our words may be forgotten, our purpose ignored, our intentions thwarted as others voice their will instead of our own.
Every transaction demands insight, understanding, and ownership. Without “Agreements" conflict erupts. Sometimes clients ask, “Why so much paperwork to open an investment account?" My answer: “To clarify my responsibility to you and yours to me. " When done well, “Agreements" serve relationships with mutual satisfaction.
Our culture requires documentation, notarization, and signature guarantees with witnesses attesting. Unfortunately, few can be trusted to fulfill our will unless we put it in writing. Perhaps this one lesson makes Terri Schiavo's saga significant. “When in doubt write it out. " Words define what you intend. No one can deny your will if you write it because usually “it is all about the money".
You may have approved all your legal documents. Good for you! When celebrating your birthday, get a physical exam and a legal review. If married, tell your spouse where you keep your private files and what to do when the time arrives.
Others reading this article may not have a written Will, completed a Durable Power of Attorney, or a Healthcare Proxy. Your attorney can guide you, but before calling the law office, take time to clarify your intentions by reviewing the following documents. Most readers require detailed Trusts; however, even the most astute have put off taking first steps. Take a look at the following Estate Planning Resources.
- Write Your Own Will: http://www.lawdepot.com/contracts/willus/index.php?pid=google-will_us-main_f1&a=t
- Online Estate Planning Tools For Life: http://www.legacywriter.com/Will_Home.html
- Legalzoom.com: http://www.legalzoom.com/wills/index2.html
- Research Durable Power Of Attorney and Healthcare Proxy Legal Zoom Document Service: http://www.legalzoom.com/index2.html
- Legacywriter.com: http://www.legalzoom.com/law_library/library_home.html
- US Legal Forms.com: http://www.uslegalforms.com/enter2. cgi?&affiliate=gldurpowatt1&document=/poweratty.htm&engine=adwords&keyword=durable+power+of+attorney
Do you need an attorney? Use the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys as your first resource: http://www.aaepa.com/attorney_listing.aspx. Always review your documents with a qualified attorney specializing in the services you need.
There may come a time when you cannot speak, so start writing now.
About The Author
Ray Randall serves clients as a registered investment advisor with his firm, Ethos Advisory Services, Essex, Massachusetts http://www.ethosadvisory.com . He has wide experience within the financial services industry, writes a weekly newsletter for Ethos Advisory Services, and coordinates the developments at Echievements . Ray holds a Masters Degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Hamilton, MA. You may email him or call (877-895-3756).