Planning for the Estate After Death: Creating A Goodbye Plan
You’ve probably heard the Beatles song called Hello Goodbye.
Not necessarily the most compelling or insightful lyrics, but very concise, and like everything they did, it became a huge hit. I think of this song so often as I make efforts to guide my clients to a comfortable discussion about how they would like to say goodbye to those they love in this world when it’s time to die.
Death Is Unavoidable, Like Taxes. That’s Why Planning for the Estate After Death Is Vital.
The conversations I initiate with my clients and prospective clients often go a little like the lyrics to that song because so many people simply don’t want to think about, let alone talk about ending their stay on this planet! But, we’re all going to die. It’s unavoidable, just like taxes!
I bet you don’t put your head in the sand and pretend that you don’t have to pay your taxes. So many people act as if they are going to live forever and then death sneaks up and many goodbyes never get to be said. Many loved ones get left in the chaos of deaths that occur and there were no plans in place or forethought given to that eventuality.
Death Can Come At Any Time
Unlike birth, where we have a pretty good idea of when a child will make its appearance, death often makes use of the element of surprise. We simply don’t have a clue when our time is going to be up. I tend to emphasize this point with my clients. When we are vital and healthy it is truly difficult to imagine being any other way. It is impossible to know if we’ll be in an accident or be diagnosed with a terminal illness on any given day. This is why I suggest thinking about the end of life as thoroughly as we do about beginnings and middles – and as soon as possible. If at all possible, the moment we start our families is the time to start planning on how we will care for our children in the event of our death.
Live Well And Die Well
We put so much emphasis on living the good life and so little on dying well – especially when it comes to planning for the estate after death. I believe that as we mature as a species, more people are going to plan their exits as thoughtfully as they planned for the arrival of their children. People are going to do this out of love for their children in the same way they did their best to be an example of what it meant to live well.
Most people have an idea of what living well means. But few have a clue about what is entailed in dying well. My experience as an estate and asset planning attorney has given me a tremendous amount of insight into this topic. My interest in helping people attend to their affairs in the most solid and mature way possible is motivated by the desire to help everyone have the best quality of life to the very end.
If you’d like to begin discussing your ‘goodbye’ plan, give our office a call. The sooner you begin, the better prepared you will be whether death comes as a surprise or after a long life well-lived.