Friday
Mar282014

You don’t NEED a Will—but here are 5 reasons why you might want one!

With a Will:

1.You choose your legal representative, not a judge;
2.You choose your intended guardian for your children;
3.You decide who receives an inheritance, what they receive, and when (or if) they get it;
4.You can provide for children of a previous marriage, elderly parents, or disabled family members; and
5.You  can save your loved ones from needless expenses and additional time needed to settle your legal matters.

Without a Will:

State law takes over and directs a result you may not like.

Learn more about Wills and other legal readiness issues at www.mypeaceofmindplan.com or visit www.ReillyLawPLC.com  or contact attorney George Reilly at 703-579-1936703-579-1936

Thursday
Mar272014

Expecting the Unexpected

“Your heart attack will be tomorrow.” Some of you may have seen the TV commercial where a man is handed a note telling him that he was scheduled for a heart attack the following day. While clearly a fictional event, if you were given a day’s notice of an impending heart attack, stroke, or serious accident, what would you do? I would imagine that most if not all of you would work very quickly to get your legal and financial affairs in order to make things easier for your family members. But, since we don’t typically get advance notice that we will need to get our affairs in order, shouldn’t we make sure they are—just in case?

That is the purpose of the Peace of Mind plan. Since we don’t know what the future holds, other than there being a 100% certainty that, at some point, we will depart this life, it is critically important for us to expect the unexpected and leave our loved ones the tools they will need to take care of things when the unexpected occurs. We don’t have to look too far to get some examples. The recent snowstorm caused a number of serious accidents and injuries, not to mention a few snow shoveling related heart attacks. I think it is fair to say that none of the folks who were injured or died because of the snowstorm expected that to occur. One minute you are shoveling your driveway and the next you are collapsed on the snow. Or your car spins out of control on an icy patch and you are seriously injured. Let’s just look at someone seriously injured or incapacitated in the storm--what happens now?

The family of the disabled individual may have a long and costly legal process ahead of them. In the absence of a document such as a Durable General Power-of-Attorney, which appoints one or more trusted persons to act on your behalf if you become disabled or incapacitated, and even if you are married your loved ones may have to hire an attorney and begin a court proceeding to appoint a legal guardian and/or custodian to take care of your personal and financial matters.

None of us know what tomorrow will bring. Isn’t it worth the modest cost of planning ahead to give your family Peace of Mind if your tomorrow does not turn out to be a good day?

Learn more about Peace of Mind planning, including Powers-of-Attorney, at www.MyPeaceOfMindPlan.com or at www.ReillyLawPLC.com. Reilly Law, PLC specializes in comprehensive Peace of Mind planning. We offer free initial consultations and special rates for military, veterans, and civil servants, as well as young family specials intended to get you on the right path.

Reilly Law, PLC is located at 300 Ellicott Street, Suite B, in Historic Occoquan. Our phone number is 703-579-1936703-579-1936. We know you are busy so we offer evening and weekend appointments. For convenience we accept major credit cards. As one client put it recently, not only did he get his legal affairs in order, he earned miles towards their next family vacation!

Wednesday
Mar262014

Having the (Difficult) Conversation With Your Parents

"It's not easy to talk about dying, but it's vitally important."

Whether we like it or not, and whether we talk about it or not, it is inevitable that our parents and other older relatives (and don't forget, us too!) will face the consequences of aging. An elder law attorney said recently that in past decades we didn't really worry about the issues of getting older since "we drank, we smoked, and we died shortly after we retired." While clearly this was a humorous exaggeration, it is not exaggerating to say that we do have an aging population in the US and people are living longer. But this also means that more people are facing disability, dementia, and debilitating illnesses long before they die.

The question for you is, what if one of these people is your parent or another loved one? Have you ever discussed these critical matters with your loved ones—namely what happens in the event of disability or death; who takes care of what; a parent’s (or grandparent’s, or your own) wishes on end of life medical care and funeral/burial/cremation choices; your wishes on guardians for minor children; and other critical, but admittedly sensitive and gloomy topics?

In other words, did your family engage in “the Conversation” as it is called by a growing movement called the Conversation Project. The intent of this Project is to encourage families to have these important discussions before it is too late, and to provide them with the tools to make having this conversation a bit easier—using what they call the “Conversation Starter Kit.”

Why is this conversation so important? Consider these statistics:

60% of people say that making sure their family is not burdened by tough decisions is “extremely important.”

Yet 56% have not communicated their end-of-life wishes.

70% of people say they prefer to die at home.

Yet 70% die in a hospital, nursing home, or long-term care facility.

82% of people say it’s important to put their wishes in writing.

Yet 23% have actually done so.

You are starting to see the reason for the Conversation Project—providing families with the tools they need to help them change these statistics and give all of the family the peace of mind of knowing that there is a plan, that everyone knows it (and knows where the legal documents are located), and that they will be ready and able to carry out the wishes of their loved ones when necessary. 

I recently wrote an article on the Conversation Project which you can read HERE. The Conversation Project starter kit and other information is available at www.TheConversationProject.org

Learn more about Peace of Mind planning at www.MyPeaceOfMindPlan.com or at www.ReillyLawPLC.com 

Having this difficult but essential Conversation before it is too late can provide both you and your loved ones with peace of mind.

Wednesday
Mar262014

Peace of Mind Planning--The Top 10 List

Fans of David Letterman know that he regularly uses Top 10 lists for comic effect. But these lists can also serve a less humorous purpose--to give us easy to follow bullet points on important topics.

Today's topic is 10 Reasons For You To Develop Your Own Peace of Mind Plan:

1. Provides resources and guidance for your family.

2. Allows you to establish a plan for disability or incapacity.

3. Provides a means to get your property to beneficiaries quickly (possibly without court involvement).

4. Provides opportunities to minimize expenses.

5. Allows you to choose trusted agents to act for you, to care for your children, and to serve as executors/ trustees for your estate.

6. Enables you to give guidance to your family on your desired end of life care.

7. Provides a way to care for other relatives who need help and guidance.

8. Gives you ways to help a favorite cause.

9. Can allow you to reduce taxes on your estate.

10. Peace of mind plans can ease the strain on your family at times of great emotional distress.

Okay, so admittedly not as fun as Mr. Letterman's lists, but far more important for you and your family.

Learn more at www.mypeaceofmindplan.com 

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