The third week in October is National Estate Planning Awareness Week, as designated by the U.S. House of Representatives. (H. Res. 1499 2008)
In its resolution, the House noted that “over 120 million Americans do not have up-to-date estate plans to protect themselves or their families in the event of sickness, accidents, or untimely death;
“…two-thirds of Americans over age 65 believe they lack the knowledge necessary to adequately plan for retirement, and nearly one-half of all Americans are unfamiliar with basic retirement tools, such as a 401(k) plan;
“…careful estate planning can greatly assist Americans in preserving assets built over a lifetime for the benefit of family, heirs, or charities;
“…careful planning can prevent family members or other beneficiaries from being subjected to complex legal and administrative processes requiring significant expenditure of time, and greatly reduce confusion or even animosity among family members or other heirs upon the death of a loved one;
“…the implementation of an estate plan starts with sound education and planning, and then may require the proper drafting and execution of appropriate legal documents, including wills, trusts, and durable powers of attorney for heath care…”
You can find out more about estate planning at this blog and at many other reputable sites, including Elder Law Answers and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.