What does “estate planning” mean? Why should I care? Not knowing the answer to these 2 important questions cost my family dearly. If you don’t know what it is, why would you bother doing anything about it? Many people think they know what estate planning is: “oh yeah I have a Will or a Power of Attorney or a Trust” but they have no clue what these documents do. They simply know they have some type of document. If you are looking for a document, download it off the internet and save yourself the time expense of using an attorney. However, beware of the consequences to your family. If you don’t know what your document does, how can you expect your family to have any clue? People are better consumers when buying a high definition tv as opposed to when they are trying to set up their estate plan. Your estate plan directly impacts your family and all the wealth you have created. It might be a good idea to do your due diligence here. A good first step would be to try to imagine what life would look likefor your family members if you were disabled or if you passed away. I could think of a 1000 better ways to spend my time but if you don’t take the time to think about this topic critically, then, in my experience, you will cause considerable emotional and financial damage to your family.
So where would I start? I would define what estate planning means to me. Here is my best definition of estate planning that I use on a daily basis:
I want to control my propery while I am alive and well;
A plan for me and my loved ones if I become disabled;
Then I want to give what I have, to whom I want, when I want, in the way that I want;
All while assuring my wisdom is transferred along with the rest of my wealth.
If one understand this definition and feels comfortable with how their plan works, then I believe you are going in the right direction to protect your wealth and your family. In my next post I will go into this definition of estate planning into more detail and what it means to me. . .
As always, this blog is not intended to be used as legal, tax, and or financial advice. It is simply my perceptions regarding the events that occur in my daily personal life.