A Common Regret
It’s not that he didn’t know he should plan his estate at some point. You’re sure he thought about it, despite all his joking that the only thing you’d ever inherit was the broken down camper in the backyard that’s been there for years. That old thing was always the “project I’m gonna get around to this fall”, according to your old man. Right. You smirk thinking about it.
That ridiculous camper – as if dad would have actually taken it anywhere, even if he had updated it. He was such a homebody. Give him his garden and his dog, and leave him be until Sunday family dinner. You sigh and hang your head.
What should we do with all his stuff? And the house? And his share of that random piece of property near Lake Michigan that he co-owns with Aunt Lillian?
Your brothers feel overwhelmed too; everyone’s getting testy from such a long funeral and interacting with so many people over the past few days.
If only you’d all been a little more prepared.
The Heart Behind Creating Your Estate Plan
Most people understand that they need a will and that planning their estate is a wise thing to do. Knowing it isn’t the problem.
The problem is that it’s unpleasant to contemplate the end of our lives or being permanently incapacitated. We assume we’ll have time to think about those morbid things later – after this upcoming promotion, when the kids start back to school, when the schedule clears, or as soon as retirement kicks in.
But we don’t need to tell you that life often doesn’t go as planned.
We’d like to challenge the status quo feeling surrounding creating your estate plan. Because really, it’s not about preparing to die. It’s about making provisions to live with peace of mind. And it’s not just a boring document with black and white rules about how to distribute your assets.
Your will is a reflection of your relationships with the ones you hold most dear and your last communication of how you want them cared for when you lose the ability to do so yourself.
These aren’t just legal documents, especially if you craft a relational estate plan.
This is your kids.
Your best friends.
Your life’s work.
Don’t think of it as a necessary evil. Think of creating your will as an opportunity. This is one of the most personal documents you’ll ever produce, and not only is it going to bring you relief and be a weight lifted when you’re finished, but it’s also a huge way to communicate to those you love just how much you really do care.
(Want to learn more about a relational estate planning philosophy? Click here.)
Check out our other blogs for further resources on estate planning, or request your free consultation today.