At Tallgrass, we live and breathe trusts, wills, powers of attorney, probates, taxes, asset protection, inheritance, conveyances, and on and on and on. It's wonderfully fulfilling work. But let's stop for a second and put it in perspective.
Life and Death and Love and Grief
Here's a little honesty and perspective.
Deciding who gets the music box or how the life insurance is divided or even what happens to the family cabin - in the grand scheme of things - is not all that important. At least, not compared to the relationships that give meaning to your assets and purpose to protecting them.
Losing the house in order to qualify for Medicaid - when all is said and done - is not all that important. At least, not compared to the experiences, sweat equity, and memories that the house holds.
Maximizing the tax and asset protection benefits of inherited IRAs - in the big picture - is not all that important. At least, not compared to the investment of your time and energy in the lives of the same people you have named as beneficiaries.
Relationships matter way more than things. People more than stuff. Experiences more than stocks. Hope more than insurance. Love more than advance directives. Trust in family and friends more than revocable trusts. Grief more than an airtight will.
Compared to life and death and love and grief, estate plans and financial plans and tax plans are petty and frivolous.
So far, we haven't met anyone who would disagree.
Planning Creates Space for Life and Death and Love and Grief
If estate planning is so inconsequential compared to these other things, why do we at Tallgrass do what we do?
It's precisely BECAUSE estate planning is less important that it is so important. Did we lose you? Hang on a sec.
Estate planning tools - like powers of attorney, advance directives, wills, and trusts - serve very practical purposes. They smooth the path when it's likely to be at its bumpiest. That is, when a crisis occurs in your life, an estate plan can help everyone prioritize the relationship because the banal, administrative, tedious things - like who has access to accounts, who has authority to make medical decisions, who has responsibility for the children, how are taxes being handled, how are assets being protected from long-term care costs - have been taken care of.
Because there is a plan, people can be present with one another. Without a plan, the smaller priorities become annoyances (and sometimes heavy costs), nagging at your loved ones, requiring their attention instead of allowing everyone to focus on one another during a difficult time. With the plan, you, your family, your friends, and other loved ones are able to focus on one another, being emotionally present, making considered decisions, because the less important but troublesome tasks have been taken care of.
Without an estate plan, grief is heavier, storms are wilder. The plan isn't what's important, but planning helps you and your loved ones to focus on what matters most.
If you want to know more, we would love to talk with you about it. Best part, the conversation about how it could benefit you doesn't cost anything. Contact us at (918) 770-8940 or email@example.com to set up a free consultation, either in person, video chat, or phone call.
Disclaimer: Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship, and it is not formal legal advice. This is for information purposes only. Your best bet, always, is to speak with an attorney about your questions, assets, concerns, and needs.
The Basics: What's a "trust" and what does it do for me?