Most of us have been unlucky enough to experience that moment when our hard drive on our computer crashes: maybe the laptop falls off the counter when we’re using it to read a recipe while cooking dinner; maybe we spill coffee or a cup of ramen noodles onto it when we’re working late into the night. Some computers seem destined for suicide—jumping out of a car, flying out of our backpacks when we’re riding a bike, getting underfoot of our girlfriend’s stilettos after we told her to be careful of the laptop on the floor; while others just get sick with a virus and bite the dust before we’ve had a chance to back up the hard drive. This article in Time’s Money section likens planning for our estate to backing up our hard drive, saving you (or your loved ones) from a world of hurt and loss. For Texans in places like San Antonio, estate planning help can mean the difference between a drawn out custody battle and a grieving process uncomplicated by financial and legal worry.
The writer of the Time article pauses for a moment to give gratitude to technological advances that have reduced anxiety, saying that “preparing for the inevitable allowed me and my hard drive to appreciate our time together and live with no residual regrets.” While the hard-drive-to-estate-planning metaphor may seem like a stretch to some, it’s a good enough analogy to get people thinking about preparing for a smooth transition (and maybe to get some of us to actually back up our hard drives, too). San Antonio estate planning help from financial planners or lawyers can help to avoid the prolonged grief that accompanies the death of a loved one.
As a Texas resident, imagine that everyone in your family visited with a San Antonio estate planning attorney for help to draw up a will or living trust, outline durable power of attorneys, or guarantee guardianship rights before their eventual passing. Imagine that your parents, grandparents and siblings didn’t leave you with the burdensome task of trying to read their minds and conjecture about their last wishes. Rather, they provided you with a clear roadmap about who should be the executor of their estate and how they’d like their financial assets and liabilities handled, including “an up-to-date list of…digital accounts and passwords.” Not having to spend months familiarizing yourself with their paperwork and doing extensive guesswork about what needs to happen with each account would allow you to focus more on healing from the loss of your family member.
Unfortunately, however, most of us don’t back up our hard drive, and most of us haven’t utilized any San Antonio estate planning help. A 2012 study conducted by estate planning attorneys found that 41 percent of baby boomers and a whopping 71 percent of people age 34 and younger don’t even have any form of a last will and testament. Don’t do that to your family—get some help sorting out your estate, and make a plan today. And maybe even back up your hard drive while you’re at it.