The Importance of Estate Planning-A Father’s Day Tribute


By Beth Dance

I have a vivid memory of adjusting my dad’s bow tie before we strolled down the aisle. For many brides, the ceremonious event of having your dad walk you down the aisle is emotional. That wasn’t me. I am very stoic, just like him.

When he walked me down the aisle and into the arms of my husband, he very distinctly and directly said to him “you take care of my baby,” to which I simply smiled. After all, my dad would in theory, still be there to take care of me, no matter what. A dad doesn’t just stop being dad once the formal “I do” is exchanged. Even still, I appreciated the sentiment and knew he’d always be there to guide me through life as needed.

A couple of years after my wedding, my dad was able to drive down from Massachusetts with my mom for the birth of my children. He read Curious George to them as toddlers and played catch with them as preschoolers.

But, one day that ended. He was no longer able to drive safely from point A to point B, read books succinctly, or answer questions he so easily did before.

After long discussions and parental push back, my brother and I decided to move my parents safely near us in Connecticut. Now, it was my turn to take care of him.

Everything that my parents had planned out for their life and retirement in Massachusetts would now all have to be reviewed with a Connecticut-based focus.

Luckily, I had direct access to estate planning attorneys that I knew and trusted. That was the easy part. I booked an appointment and took my mom and dad to get all their estate planning documents (Last Will and Testament, power of attorney, health care directives) in order – and, all at a time when my dad could still answer questions before his dementia had taken more of his abilities from him.

It’s never easy to plan for the unknown. Scary circumstances surrounding incapacitation, health or mental challenges or even death is understandably, not something any of us want to have to think about. But I can’t stress enough how pre-planning and having a completed estate plan saved my entire family at just the right time.

For example, when my mom recently fell and unexpectedly ended up hospitalized and in need of bill paying and insurance support, her agent appointed in her power of attorney document was able to seamlessly take over the paying of her bills. This greatly alleviated our stress and left no unanswered questions regarding who was going to take charge.  And, this also helped us focus on just helping mom regain her health and full strength.

If you haven’t done your estate planning documents, I implore you to do so now. Life can and will throw you a curveball or two, and the best advice I can give is to be proactive and to plan ahead.

First, choose an attorney that you trust, who is well-versed in estate planning, and one who will walk you through all the “what ifs,” and answer any questions or concerns you may have.  (The attorneys at Czepiga, Daly, Pope & Perri would be happy to help!)

Second, get those estate planning documents in order today – there is no time like the present!

And, if you have completed your estate planning documents already – well-done! Just remember to review them to ensure you have the right people in the right designations at the right time.  Life circumstances (such as marriage, divorce, death, new laws, etc.) can change, so it’s prudent to review your documents in this case or in general, every 3-5 years.

I am so thankful that we got our estate planning done to protect my parents and us. After all, a daughter doesn’t just stop being a daughter once the formal “I do” is exchanged.

Happy Father’s Day!

Related Posts:

How My Dad’s Planning Helped Us Cope When He Died

Estate Planning: Why It’s Not Just About the Money

Estate Plan Updates: Why They Matter and When to Make Them

Webinar: Getting Your House in Order with an Estate Plan






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