Last week was National Estate Planning Awareness Week.  An entire week dedicated to raising awareness of the critical importance of estate planning.  It is estimated that over 120 million Americans do not have up to date estate plans.  And according to a recent study, 70% of respondents said that Americans fail to plan because they lack awareness as to why they should.  Even worse, 62% of respondents to the same survey believed that many Americans do not plan because they have the erroneous assumption that estate planning is only for the wealthy.  It certainly is not – read my blog post on the topic here.

So what does that have to do with the double tragedy I refer to in the title?  Even a better question is, what is the double tragedy?  It is this: a dear family member or friend passing away (or you passing away) and a complete lack of an estate plan or a poorly drafted estate plan.  I call it the double tragedy because your family will be dealing with the loss of someone they loved dearly, so why add to their frustration, grief and hardship by leaving them with a mess with your estate due to lack of planning or a “cheapo” estate plan.

Sure, sometimes things go smoothly, but that certainly is not the case in many circumstances.  Why take the chance?  Take the time and money to work with an attorney who focuses on estate planning to help create a comprehensive plan that will show your family how much you cared . . . even after you are no longer here for them.

Michael Lichterman is an estate planning and business planning attorney who helps families and business owners create a lasting legacy by planning for their Whole Family Wealth™.  This goes beyond merely planning for finances – it’s about who your are and what’s important to you.  He focuses on estate and asset protection planning for  the “experienced” generation, the “sandwich generation” (caring for parents and children), doctors/physicians, nurses, lawyers, dentists, professionals with minor children, family owned businesses and pet planning.  He takes the “counselor” part of attorney and counselor at law very seriously, and enjoys creating life long relationships with his clients – many of which have become great friends.