The TreeceCo Report
Death is not something we enjoy talking about, but something we know we all have to face. For many there is no preparation. It's sudden, unexplainable and without mercy. However for some, there is at least the favor of a little preparation.
Not long ago I was scheduled to help finalize a living trust for a gentleman who was very sick. However, his sickness took a turn for the worse and the doctors informed his children that their Dad would not be returning from the hospital.
As I walked into the hospital room, I witnessed a very frail and worn down elderly man who was surrounded by a very strong loving son, daughter, niece and nephew. It was an extremely sensitive and sobering experience.
As much as the reality is all around you, talking about it is always easier when it's not looking at you in the face.
As I walked into the room I introduced myself to the family and then began to get my materials ready. I decided to start talking to Phil.
Surprisingly, Phil had a funny sense of humor. He was joking despite his illness. As we were going through the documents, I asked him why he waited so long to get his affairs in order.
Here was his response:
For many years, I put this off. I'm not sure why, I just didn't want to think about it I guess. However, when all of this happened I realized that even though I don't want to deal with it, leaving a mess for my children sounds even worse. And that is why I did this. I don't want my children to be left with a nightmare after I am gone.
I'll never forget that experience. You know, there are so many articles and websites geared towards avoiding probate and reducing or eliminating estate taxes, but in all reality, who cares about that stuff.
Even though there are the few who really hate the government, more than that, there are those who don't want to see their loved ones' lives tormented and torn up for a year because of ill planning.
So, the point to all this planning is really in the words of Phil. I don't want my children to be left with a nightmare after I am gone.
Phil died a week and a half later and we received a very warm letter of appreciation from the family, thanking us for our sensitivity and thoroughness.
Now that their father is gone, at least they did not have to spend 18 months unraveling a mess. They were able to take care of everything very smoothly.
So what about you, what are your options? Do you ever find yourself confused with all of the options and choose to procrastinate because you simply don't know where to start, who to talk to or better yet, who to trust?
Recently I received a call from a 73 year old lady who made a remarkably profound statement.
Here is what she said... "I have so many decisions to make in my daily life that when it comes to preparing my will and living trust, the best decision I can make at this time is no decision at all."
I completely understood her point because I see people every day facing the same problem.
There are many factors that cause confusion. In many cases, the individual may be afraid of making a wrong decision. As a result they make no decision, which is usually the wrong decision.
Kind of funny isn't it. This lady is so involved in her daily activities that she gives little thought to the consequences of her demise ...or does she?
Actually she stays awake at night worried because she knows she needs to do something. However, she is confused about what to do, how much she will have to spend, who will do it for her and how she will manage her decisions.
Unfortunately I receive far too many calls from children who had parents who actually realized the importance of estate planning to protect and provide for their dependents but died prematurely leaving their loved ones unprotected.
Bottom line: the consequences of procrastination can be financially devastating.
Remember this: estate planning may be vital for everyone. It does not matter what your level of income is, your net worth or other family circumstances, without a proper plan for the future, you could be leaving your children or loved ones with complications and none of us want to do that.
Next Friday's TreeceCo Report will have Part 2 of What a Living Trust Will Do For You.
If you have any questions now is a good time to get an answer.You can email our our office or call our office at 855.534.4653 or 704.935.5295.
-The TreeceCo Team!