Two men were lifelong friends and
similar in many ways. Both were affluent, mid-fifties,
healthy, with several children and grandchildren.
Life was good.
Then tragedy struck. Returning
home from a golf weekend together, their car was involved
in a serious auto accident. Neither of them survived.
Both families were devastated.
But one was far more devastated than the other.
Because although these two men
were so similar in their lifetimes, they left remarkably
different legacies for their families in their deaths.
One had an estate plan. Everything
from funeral arrangements to the trusts for his grandchildren
had been pre-planned. Right down to who got his beloved
sailboat. His spouse and family were able to properly
mourn his passing with love and the comforting knowledge
that he had planned so carefully for their welfare.
His friend had always thought it
was bad luck to talk about his death. So not only
did he not have an estate plan, he didn’t even
have a Will. Perhaps if he had just thought about
the consequences for his family, things may have been
His grief-stricken spouse was left
to arrange for his funeral, burial and all the legal
and financial requirements. And all of it with no
Will to guide her in making decisions. The stress
of dealing with all this added to her emotional strain
was nearly more than she could bear.
To make matters worse, the arguing
and bickering among family members over the estate
delayed a settlement and cost a fortune in legal fees.
The end result was a severely depleted estate and
bitterness in the family that will probably last for
Every year, too many families go
through unnecessary nightmares simply because someone
didn’t believe in estate planning.
Fortunately, more and more people
are realizing that estate planning is an essential
part of financial planning and is one of the most
important things you will ever do for yourself and