Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal. And, during these times, we think about our loves and our family. We think about what they need and what will make them happy. This is why this season of love is the time to start the family estate plan.
We get it, estate planning is scary
Talking about death is not easy. Thinking about not being there for our kids, missing milestones, losing ourselves. It is a hard conversation, but it is one that we have to have, and the sooner, the better.
Not alone in putting off estate planning
Guilt can also be a driver to putting off estate planning. But, according to Gallup, well over 50% of Americans do not have a basic will, and even for those 65 and older, that number still hovers around 25%. Most of us are guilty of putting this off, so we just need to find our motivation to get it done.
Reframe the conversation as love
If one is motivated by love, think of an estate plan as a love letter. It ensures that our loved ones will not have to worry about anything after we die because we already planned for it. They will not have to figure out the funeral, burial arraignments, who gets what, etc. And, from an emotional standpoint, this is an incredible act of love because, otherwise, our loved ones would have to figure this all out during an incredibly hard time in their lives. Plus, asset divisions by a judge can permanently fracture families in probate litigation.
Reframe estate planning as legacy building
If one is more motivated by leaving a legacy, estate planning can be that legacy. Of course, the estate plan will help take care of our loved ones after we pass, but through a trust, we can even still exact some influence on them after we pass. We can also build in a charitable trust to shape organizations, communities, charities, etc. with bequests on our behalf after we pass. After all, the Ford Foundation is still doing this nearly 100 years after Henry Ford’s death. Estate planning can be a powerful tool to make sure that we leave a lasting legacy.
Do it now
For our Beaumont, Texas, readers, the key takeaway is to start the estate planning journey now. However, one needs to get their motivation, whether it is love of family, need to build a legacy, something else or some combination, estate planning is important and should be started as soon as possible.