The REAL Reason to Plan Your Estate

IMG_0985 Last Tuesday my
husband planned a surprise birthday party for me. When I showed up at the Ruth's Chris Steakhouse for dinner, there were  50 close friends waiting in the backroom. Although I hate surprises, it was very special to share the celebration with them.  I asked my husband why he threw the surprise party, and he said, "because I love you."  

We write often on our blog about specific pieces of the estate planning: elder law, retirement planning, estate administration, etc… But sometimes it’s important to pull back and look at the big picture—to remind ourselves why we’re doing all this in the first place. And the plain truth is that there is one main reason we do this: Love.

Now, “love” may sound sappy and sentimental, but when it comes down to it love truly is the only reason we would spend time and money thinking about the unpleasant subject of death, and planning for a time that we won’t be around to enjoy.

Estate Planning Ensures Your Minor Children Have a Home

Part of creating your estate plan includes nominating guardians for your minor children. Without this nomination your children are at the mercy of the court should anything happen to you. Estate planning also allows you to ensure that your minor children and their guardians have the financial security they need to make a smooth transition during a difficult time. In this area, surprises are not welcome.

Estate Planning Preserves Sibling Relationships

There are fewer things more stressful to a family than the death of a beloved parent. And it is at this time more than any other that fights are liable to break out between normally loving siblings: Fights over what to do for mom’s funeral, over who gets treasured heirlooms, over who dad would have wanted to distribute the estate. All of these fights can be easily avoided by creating an estate plan that spells out your wishes in clear and loving terms.

Estate Planning Allows You to Provide for Your Children and Grandchildren

You spend a lifetime raising and caring for your children knowing that someday, when you’re gone, they’ll have to fend for themselves. Creating an estate plan allows you to leave a little bit behind, a cushion your children can hold in reserve in case of emergency. An estate plan allows you to continue providing for your children even after you’ve gone.

Estate Planning Leaves an Enduring Legacy

Estate planning is not just about finances and paperwork, it’s about relationships. Creating your estate plan allows you to brush away life’s minor details and minutia and focus on what’s really important, allowing you to connect with your loved ones in a more meaningful and lasting way than ever before. Your estate plan expresses your enduring values, leaving a legacy for your family that will live on for generations to come.