By William Wilson, Esq. ~
We have all heard this phrase “Peace of Mind” again and again and again.
What is “Peace of Mind”? What are its’ components and attributes? How does one achieve “Peace of Mind”?
These are all valid questions with no correct or incorrect answers because there is no “ONE” answer that is acceptable to everyone.
One’s individual concept of “Peace of Mind,” and its components and attributes, and how you achieve them, is very much influenced by one’s individual life experiences – both conscious and subconscious.
Because of the vastness of the aggregate of “all experiences,” the properties may very well be infinite and the ultimate conclusion – ineffable.
As a practicing Wills and Estate attorney with over 50 years of experience, I can say with some degree of certainty, that many people may have extremely enlightened perspectives couched in spiritual, holistic, philosophical, religious or other terms. The overwhelming majority of these people, however, based upon my experience, do not have a clue as to what the main component of “Peace of Mind,” is.
That component – above all others, is providing for the personal well-being and financial security of one’s self, one’s family and others whom one may love and wish to provide for. That component provides for what is missing from most everyone’s definition of “Peace of Mind.”
There are three parts to achieving this one component:
- A Power of Attorney, This document permits you to name an individual, individuals, or entities whom you wish to make decisions on your behalf on either a full-time basis, or only in the event of a future disability or incapacity, as well as naming contingent choices in the event your earlier choices are not able to serve – NOTE, a spouse or significant other or anyone else, has NO legal authority to act on behalf of another without a Power of Attorney being in place specifically naming them.
- A Combination Living Will and Physician’s Directive, This instrument allows you to appoint an individual, individuals or entity, and contingent choices to make medical decisions on your behalf and under what circumstances, conditions, limitations and/or restrictions you wish to place on those powers.
- A Will. The importance of having a comprehensive Will in place is essential – NOT a “simple Will,” but a Will that sets forth your wishes in the form of trusts, or specific language, that addresses present and/or future conditions that may involve special needs, addictions, criminal and/or other objectionable behavior that may exist now or in the future. This document can also address short-term and/or long-term more complicated financial and/or estate planning issues that may involve the input of accountants, financial advisors and/or insurance professionals.
Without these three components/documents in place, any concept of true “Peace of Mind” is an illusion that may result in unnecessary hardship, family strife and the needless expenditure of monies in an attempt to settle an estate, or have someone appointed on your behalf to make decisions that you no longer have the capacity to make.
In summary, be mindful. Be aware. Be always and forever filled with gratitude and love.
Give yourself the “gift” of true “Peace of Mind” – a gift that keeps on giving.
We are truly blessed,
William E. Wilson, Esq.
Long Branch, NJ 07764 (732-222-3111)