We all make promises. Some are small–“I’ll be home for dinner”; some are bigger– “Till death do us part.”
Some promises are unspoken. For example, when I married my wife, there was an unspoken promise that I would strive to provide financial security for our family. When we were blessed with children, there was an unspoken promise that they would have a safe place to sleep. We also promised that we would provide them with a sound education and moral upbringing.
Unfortunately, without proper planning, life’s twists and turns can interrupt our ability to follow through with these promises, such as in the case of my early death or disability.
This is truly why estate planning is important. With a proper plan, I can make sure my children are well cared for. I can provide for them financially with life insurance, but financial security wasn’t my only promise.
With good estate planning documents, I can ensure that they receive sound management of that money until they are old enough to handle it wisely themselves. I can also name who would provide their moral upbringing if my wife and I would become disabled or die.
As another example, my future need of a nursing home could affect the financial security of my wife’s retirement years. Sound planning will also account for my potential long term care needs in a way that provides continued financial security for my wife.
Estate planning isn’t just about naming the people that get an inheritance. Estate planning is about keeping the big promises. What’s your plan?