Have you already bought your mom something special for Mother’s Day? If you are behind on your shopping, don’t panic! There is still time to get her something thoughtful, meaningful, and memorable. Sure, it’s not the first thing people think of when they think “Mom,” but it is incredibly important.
We’re talking about creating a plan. A plan for if Mom gets ill or becomes incapacitated as she gets older. A plan for how she wants to be remembered and the gifts she wants to give her children and children’s children. A plan for what will happen when she passes.
Not So Fast, It’s Not as Morbid as You Think
We can pretty much guarantee your mom has thought about death before. She’s thought about what would happen if she got sick before. She’s even thought about how best to maximize the years she has with her children and (if applicable) grandchildren. But, has she taken action on those thoughts? Chances are, she hasn’t. Why? Because she’s uncomfortable, or scared, or doesn’t know how to start, or doesn’t want to do it alone. No matter her reasons, she likely just needs a little support.
That’s where you come in. Your mom needs you to stand by her, to let her know you are on her team, and to help her take the necessary steps to ease her worrying. If your mom is like most moms, what she wants more than anything this Mother’s Day is to spend a little time with her kids. Quality, one-on-one time for bonding, laughing, and making memories. What better way than to spend the day with her having these important conversations?
What a Difference a Plan Can Make
Imagine the difference:
Your mom becomes ill or is unable to care for herself, and there is no plan in place. You’ve never even had a conversation with her on this subject. So, who makes the medical decisions? Who is in charge of taking care of her house? If she passes, what are her funeral wishes? How does she want her stuff distributed?
By contrast, imagine a situation in which each scenario has been discussed, roles are assigned to loved ones, and everyone knows the plan. When challenging moments arise, the decisions have already been made — all the family needs to do is execute the plan. There will still be stress, sadness, and grief, but there won’t be a fight.
You Don’t Have to Do it Alone
Ok, maybe this does sound like a good idea — taking the day to have conversations with your mom about what she wants in life and how she wants to be remembered after her passing — but are you really qualified or comfortable with having these conversations? They sound intense, and possibly explosive. Where would you even begin?
Here’s the best news you may have heard all day: you don’t have to do it alone! There are compassionate professionals out there who are experienced in guiding these kinds of conversations. There are even some (cough, cough) who have a family of their own, have been through this before, and know how essential and fragile these conversations can be. Let us help!
At Brian M. Douglas & Associates, we specialize in helping families move through these difficult conversations and create plans that bring ease for the future.
There’s Something in it for You, Too!
This may not be the best reason to highlight in front of Mom, but there’s a huge personal benefit for you if Mom gets her affairs in order. First, as we mentioned, a clear plan and an open discussion eases stress and conflict when difficult moments arise. But, there is also a very real financial benefit to making a plan with an attorney. It’s called probate-avoidance.
If your mom has no plan in place at all (not even a standard Last Will and Testament), you will find yourself in probate court navigating the process of trying to get her stuff released to you and any other heirs. If you live in a different state from your mom, that involves traveling back and forth to her home county, hiring a local attorney, having all of these proceedings put on the public record, and waiting a minimum of twelve months for the whole messy process to end. Now here’s something a lot of people don’t know, even if your mom does have a Last Will and Testament, you will still need to go through the exact same probate process. Nothing changes: the waiting time, the public recording of all of your mom’s stuff, the hiring of a local attorney, and, especially, the cost of probate.
You may have heard that probate is expensive. Trust us, it’s all true. Probably even more expensive than you realize. Here in Georgia, the cost of probate ranges from 3-7% of the entire value of your mom’s estate. That means, if she owns her home and a few bank accounts to the tune of $625,000, you stand to lose around $30,000 right off the top. That doesn’t even include any outstanding debts she may owe or any additional costs you may need to pay.
But, there is a way to avoid probate and that $30,000 bill. It’s called a trust. This document is something you can set up with your mom right now to completely take her estate out of the probate process. You won’t need to go to court, the stuff won’t be put on the public record, you won’t need to hire a local attorney and pay the associated costs of probate, and you won’t need to wait any time at all to access your inheritance. So, we really mean it when we say making sure your mom has a plan in place is an investment in your own future. Not only will it save you time, travel, stress, and inconvenience, it may just save you a boatload of money.
Trust in Brian M. Douglas & Associates This Mother’s Day
So, now that you know the situation, let us sweeten the pot. It’s Mother’s Day after all, right?
This week, treat your mom to a special lunch and a day of estate planning togetherness. We will help you dive into these conversations in a way that’s gentle, compassionate, and clear. She will love spending the time with you and getting these worries off her mind. You will love how easy the process is and how much anguish (and cash) it will save you down the road.
Take advantage of our special Mother’s Day Offer: 10% off any estate planning package with Brian M. Douglas & Associates when you book your appointment in the month of May. Call our office today and mention this offer to get on our schedule. Our number is (770) 933-9009.