"It's a new year and your New Year's resolutions have come
and gone," said a friend to me recently. As I may best paraphrase,
he said to cogitate on the fact that people resolve to lose weight, plan
to exercise and diet and then they often mess up those resolutions. Those
resolutions are often made to live a longer and happier life. So it's
ironic that people don't often plan to die - you know, get a
will or a
I responded: "You mean that getting a will or a trust or an
estate plan will help somebody live a longer and happier life? Not longer, but maybe
happier. From my observation as an estate planning attorney, getting an
estate plan in place for incapacity situations or death makes that person
happier and gives them peace of mind. Probably, because it's not IF
that estate plan will be used, but WHEN."
"The irony," my friend pointed out "is that if people make
health, life, and happiness resolutions and then often proceed to break
those resolutions, it could lead to less happiness, a shorter lifeline.
So why not get right to the point and plan for death by resolving to get
an estate plan? By sticking to that one resolution, as you noted, a further
irony would be the resulting happiness, peace of mind, and maybe resolve
to further improve one's health for a longer life."
I said, "All I can say is that a resolution to make an estate plan,
is a good resolution that can give peace of mind. Estate planning is about
life planning; planning for the legacy and the lives that would be left
behind. This planning is not easy and the decisions only get harder when
a person passes away and there is no will, trust or plan in place. As
trusts and estates attorneys, we guide families through the hard decisions
in the probate of estates - but the best scenarios are when we steer families
away from probate problems through careful and informed legal advice."
Resolve to prevent fires instead of having to putting them out.