Love Beyond Life: The Importance of Estate Planning

By Mofoluke Keshinro, TEP

Embrace the love month with open hearts, but let’s not forget a love that transcends the bounds of life itself. In the symphony of love, where commitments are professed and values deemed precious, there exists a realm often overlooked – the meticulous art of estate planning. This process involves outlining instructions on how your affairs will be managed after you’re gone. While death is an unfortunate certainty in life, proper planning can significantly reduce the negative impact on your loved ones.

Beyond the erosion of the value of assets before the beneficiaries get to enjoy them, there are challenges such as being in the right state of mind to determine the distribution of assets, family uncertainty about the deceased’s assets, fees for professionals to process documents to access assets (probate processing), and time expended on the process.

Recently, a friend’s husband passed away during the pandemic, highlighting the challenges that can arise without a comprehensive estate plan. Despite having a life insurance policy, investments with the spouse listed as beneficiary, and clear instructions at work for death-in-service benefits, the absence of an estate plan left the widow uncertain and burdened. She couldn’t confirm if he left a will or any testamentary directive and was oblivious to the steps her husband had taken or not taken. Inquiring from his colleagues and friends, she learned about these details. She had to quickly navigate the process of obtaining a Letter of Administration to handle her late husband’s assets, adding stress to an already difficult situation. Urgency was paramount as the children had to go back to school, and fees had to be paid; life had to continue despite her bereavement.

It’s essential to understand that common practices like investing, having life insurance, or providing instructions for workplace benefits don’t replace the need for a well-thought-out estate plan. While these measures secure financial aspects, they often leave crucial details unaddressed.

Consider the case where the husband intended to create an estate plan but was discouraged by his wife, who believed that death was a distant event. This mindset can lead to essential planning being postponed, leaving loved ones in a challenging position when unforeseen events occur.

This article serves as a reminder and a call to action. Even if you have taken steps to secure your family’s financial future, creating a comprehensive estate plan is the missing piece that ensures your wishes are articulated. Your plan should cover various aspects, including your children’s education, how assets should be utilized, and the legacy you want to leave behind.

This Love Month, we encourage you not to delay engaging with estate planning experts. Show your love for your family by taking the necessary steps to create a plan that aligns with your family’s dynamics. At ARM TRUSTEES LIMITED, our experts are available to guide you through the process, providing professional assistance to give you peace of mind and leave your loved ones with smiles despite your absence.

Interested in setting up an Estate Plan today? Contact us or send  us an email to [email protected]

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