A Fate Worse Than Death
Updated: Nov 3, 2018
Try as hard as we might with eating healthy, exercise, and quitting bad habits we will all one day face an unbearable truth – death in inevitable. Getting clients to act upon their own mortality poses a challenge to any financial planner. We struggle for people to face their impending death through planning and implementation of estate documents. All too often clients refuse to take the necessary steps to ensure that administration of their estate acts to their wishes. Typically people think of their Last Will and Testament as enough, and in many cases it can be sufficient. But for some, a will lacks nuances that other estate related documents can allow. Such things like, trusts, life insurance, or even simple beneficiary designations on ownership documents can save grieving loved ones the time and hassle of dying intestate.
I go through a short exercise with my clients when it comes to the estate process. I tell them that at their death, their belongings can go to only three places: 1) Their heirs; 2) the government; and 3) charity. I then ask: what percentage would they like each one of these to receive at their death? The planning process then begins and I craft a tailored plan, in conjunction with other professionals if needed, to best meet their wishes for where their property is to go upon death.
What percentages would you put into each of these three places? Do you know if your current estate planning documents will allow for that? If not, why haven’t you asked to speak with a Certified Financial PlannerTM practitioner with estate planning expertise to help devise a plan for you to meet your goals?
Brent D Dickerson, CFP® specializes in helping clients map out their financial future and works side-by-side to achieve goals. Estate planning can be a scary process, but peace of mind after the fact is priceless.