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Addressing estate planning after a serious injury

Most Philadelphia families think about estate planning in terms of what they would like to leave behind for their loved ones when the time comes. Few consider the fact that estate planning could be needed far in advance of old age, or that those plans might need to be altered to benefit oneself or one's spouse, and not children or grandchildren. Unfortunately, accidents can happen that will shift the course of a family's existence, and those changes will prompt the need for estate planning shifts.

For example, if a middle-aged father is injured in a serious car accident, his ability to provide for his family could be seriously impacted. He may require significant medical care, which could continue for a lengthy period of time or even for the rest of his life. Once the dust has settled and the family has had a chance to move past the initial shock of the incident, they should consider whether their current estate plan is sufficient for their altered needs.

If the mother is planning to assume the role of sole provider for the family, she will need to revisit her life insurance coverage. If she were to pass away, how would her husband and children meet their financial needs? In such an example, the wife would need to obtain a solid life insurance policy.

Also, consideration should be given to the long term needs of the husband. In order to ensure that his medical care needs will be covered, it may be necessary to set up a trust to cover those expenses. Funding a trust would help ensure that the husband would have access to quality care in the event that his wife predeceased him.

Estate planning can be far more involved than simply making a list of which loved one will receive what in the event of a death. In cases that resemble the example provided here, estate planning focus turns toward a spouse, and not the children of the family. For those in Philadelphia who are forced to handle such a challenge, it is important to know that there are many options available to meet a family's needs.

Source: Forbes, "8 Reasons to Revise Your Estate Plan Today", Mark Eghrari, Jan. 28, 2016

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