You Never Know…

Recently, we did some planning for a mother and her son. This involved plans tailored to each and creating joint estate planning documents such as trusts and LLCs. Because they had acquired some new property, we updated their titles to coordinate with the deeds and LLCs. We are telling you this because the client discussed a fascinating story that aligns with this blog’s title. 

Here’s What Happened: 

The client lives in the Gainesville area and is at the shopping center on Dawsonville Highway. This took place around mid-September, and it was cloudy with the possibility of storms. She’s sitting at the intersection. Anyone who has ever been here would quickly attest to how busy this intersection is. You’ll sit through several iterations of red and green lights before it’s your turn to go. She was about the third car in line, waiting to turn out of the shopping center’s parking lot. 

Then she heard the loudest bang she’d ever heard. 

She described it as if a cannon had gone off inside her car. Now, when you read that, you’d assume that someone ran into her or perhaps a significant object had hit her. Her car had been struck by lightning. It went from hazy to a flash to a bang for a few seconds. 

She may never have fully realized what had occurred had she been alone. The man behind her asked if she was ok, and fortunately, she said she was. But he let her know what he had seen. When she was outside the car, she noticed a hole in the roof of a vehicle about the size of a baseball. 

The Aftermath 

The car was completely disabled. Ironically, there wasn’t a dent in the car, but it was completely totaled. Accidents, by nature, are unexpected, and in many ways, they are unpredictable. When the woman left her house that morning and said goodbye to her dog, no one could have known what would happen. The frightening reality is that anyone could sit at a red light on a partly cloudy Thursday and be gone. 

You never know. Attorney J. Kevin Tharpe had a conversation with his mother the day before she hit her head and had to be rushed to the emergency room. Incapacity happens that quickly. Despite everything we just mentioned, there are still ways to be prepared for the unknowable. Here are two of them: 

  1. Always make sure that you keep ownership. People make the mistake of putting their assets into other people’s names, e.g., their kids so that someone else can control things when they are unable to. It’s the easy route. But when you do this, you can no longer use your own assets. You’ve relinquished ownership; you can’t sell your house. (Even if you can, there’s a tax penalty for giving up ownership.)
  2. Title your assets so that you have access, others have access, and you avoid probate. This is why we recommend revocable trusts. You never know when something will happen, but you still have access (and ownership!) of your assets.  

Contact J. Kevin Tharpe, P.C. 

Your story is a powerful reminder of life’s unpredictability and the importance of being prepared for any eventuality. The experiences shared here illustrate the unexpected nature of accidents and the critical need for strategic estate planning.

At the Law Offices of J. Kevin Tharpe, P.C., we understand the significance of protecting your assets and ensuring you maintain control over them, even in unforeseen circumstances. Our approach focuses on creating comprehensive plans that safeguard your interests and provide peace of mind. Whether setting up revocable trusts, updating estate plans to include new properties, or ensuring that titles and deeds adequately align with your estate planning goals, we’re here to guide you every step. Don’t leave your future to chance; schedule a consultation with us today to ensure that you and your loved ones are prepared no matter what happens.

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Kevin Tharpe

With 25 years of experience, Kevin understands how estate planning, special needs planning, and government benefits programs work together. This is a crucial element of a thorough plan. He explains your eligibility for benefits programs and ensures that you do not make costly mistakes that may disqualify you or deplete your assets.

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