End-of-life planning and securing a will tells the world what you treasure most and to whom it should go upon your passing. If you do not plan, the consequences could unduly and adversely affect the very ones you love most and have left behind.
A study by Harris Interactive found that only one in three African American adults (32 percent) and one in four Hispanic American adults (26 percent) have wills, compared to more than half (52 percent) of white American adults.
Michael Corcoran, attorney at Grow Brooklyn, a non-profit organization that provides low-cost housing counseling, says he comes across a variety of scenarios where his clients end up in court spending a lot of time fighting for the legal right to assets that, without those assets, could profoundly jeopardize not only their finances, but also their health and livelihood. Most of these consequences, says Corcoran, are very easily avoidable by taking a few quick steps.
For example, “One thing that can often happen under the law that people are not aware of is that if you have a disabled family member and if they were to inherit from a family member’s estate, it could jeopardize their ability to receive public benefits,” said Corcoran. “In my family, one of my brothers is disabled and he receives Medicaid. And my parents created a will in which he was disinherited–not out a lack of love for him, but so as to ensure he continues to receive all of the government benefits that he’s presently receiving and is entitled to.
“Because if he were to inherit equally from my parents’ estate with myself and two other brothers, he would lose all of those benefits.”
In this short video, Michael Corcoran provides a few case scenarios of what he has seen happen when people neglect end-of-life planning. He also outlines some of the most simple and basic things people can do now to put in place a plan that will protect their loved ones later on.
To learn more about why end-of-life planning is so critically important, go here.