Benjamin Franklin is one my favorite historical figures. Besides being a founding father, inventor, journalist, statesman, abolitionist and so on, he had an unparalleled wit and colorful manner. And who doesn’t appreciate a renaissance man who was also known to love a good beer?
It was Franklin who said that in this world, “nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” But he wasn’t done on the subject. He also wrote “Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.”
Both of those quotes are instrumental for this discussion. Estate Planning. From 20 years as a practicing attorney and now as a financial advisor – I can tell you there is not one thing people put off more and which brings about more anxiety than estate planning.
It’s understandable of course – talking about your inevitable demise and leaving behind your loved ones is not the cheeriest of topics to be sure. However, it can serve as a source of freedom and joy as well.
Why do we work so hard?
Who lies at the base of our motivations?
Far more often than not, it’s our family. We want our spouses/partners and our children to live the best lives possible. Taking the time and effort to put some estate planning into place ensures that when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, those left behind will be seen to in an organized and stress-free fashion. This is a tremendous gift to those we love.
The planning may consist of something as simple as a will, power of attorney and health care proxy. It could require, depending on assets, more complicated measures such as trusts or corporate succession agreements.
No matter the complexity, completing these documents and knowing that you’ve done what is necessary to protect and provide for those you love – will bring you an amazing sense of lightness and freedom. I have seen it time and time again.
Once you get this task behind you, you can get to go back to living so that you are not amongst those who Franklin references above – the ones who have not lived their lives fully.
Franklin spent a lifetime learning, challenging himself and constantly evolving. He noted “when you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” We would all be wise to remember that. Live well, live with love. Until next time.
Original content provided by Gregory Mattacola, Esq., Financial Advisor at Strategic Financial Services. Content is provided for informational purposes only and should not be used as the basis upon which to make investment or financial decisions.