The Importance of an Estate Plan –
A Story of William and Joan
“A goal without a plan is just a wish” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
We’d like to share a story with you about William and Joan and the importance of having an Estate Plan.
Slumped down in her chair, Anne tried to take in the news. Joan had just passed away after a short but fierce struggle with colon cancer. Anne had met Joan the first day of seventh grade. They were both 12 years old, new to Paul Revere Junior High, and on the lookout for new friends. She remembered the day vividly, even after 72 years.
The classroom for cooking was equipped with five u-shaped kitchen areas with tables for six girls each. Anne noticed a quiet girl opposite her who looked rather pale and a little distracted. The teacher gave her lecture about how the class would run, then asked for any questions. One of the girls raised her hand and asked, “What do we do with the food we cook?”
“You get to eat it,” came the answer.
The moment was perfectly timed. It couldn’t have happened any more dramatically in the classiest comedy movie. Exactly while the teacher spoke, Joan threw up. All over the table.
Poor Joan never quite lived it down. Even years later in high school, Anne and Joan occasionally met a new friend who asked, “Are you the girl who threw up in cooking class?”
Anne and Joan shared good times and troubled ones alike over all the decades of their friendship. They both married and had children. Anne gave Joan all the support she could when it became apparent that Joan’s daughter, Cathy, had special needs and would require extra care.
Joan cared for Cathy until her passing. Anne wondered what would happen to Joan’s husband, William, and their daughter Cathy. She knew that Joan and William’s goal had always been to take care of their family and leave assets for their daughter. Now he was in declining health himself. How would he pay for his own needs and still provide for Cathy? Did he have an Estate Plan, or was it just a wish?
Anne needn’t have worried. William and Joan had made an Estate Plan three years earlier. They had a solid plan in place to provide long-term care should William need it, protect assets and provide for Cathy’s care at the same time.
Elder Law Group’s skilled and caring team of legal professionals help clients with not just Wills, but through ensuring that desires and goals are not just a wish. A well-thought-out Estate Plan protects you, your family and your money through Wills with an Asset Protection Trust, Durable Powers of Attorney for finances and health, and Health Care Directives (Living Wills).
We know it is not just an Estate Plan. It is about people and their hopes, dreams, wishes and most of all, peace of mind.
Speak to an Estate Planning Attorney at Elder Law Group