In case your life is slightly less inundated with Disney than mine and you missed this epic event, Frozen 2 came out recently. As the parent of two preschool-aged children, I can’t “escape it anymore.” Even our favorite brand of bread has pictures of Frozen on it. So, as you can imagine, I have been listening to “Let It Go” performed by Idina Menzel quite a lot recently. Right about now you might be wondering, what does Frozen possibly have to do with estate planning? That’s an excellent question; thanks for asking.
Whenever the topic of estate planning comes up, people inevitable start talking a lot about wills, trusts, and avoiding probate. We can’t seem to get away from those ideas. Every time I tell someone I work for an estate planning attorney, the first thing they ask me is, “oh, so you draft wills?” It is always an interesting experience trying to explain that I have worked in an estate planning office for 7 years and NEVER actually drafted a will. Now don’t get me wrong; wills are an important tool in the estate planning process, and we certainly use them here at Family Estate Planning Law Group, but no one ever came to us because they just really, really wanted the best will ever drafted.
So, why DO people go to see an estate planning attorney? I can tell you why I went to see one (excluding the part where I have to show up every day for work, of course). Remember those two children singing “Let It Go” and pointing out every picture of Frozen they can find, including every time I make them a sandwich? They mean the world to me, are the only reason I would EVER consider getting up at 3am and are the brightest part of every day. I’m going to take a wild guess and say there is probably someone in your life that means more than you know how to express and makes you do things you would never consider otherwise. (Have you ever seen the faces dignified adults will make for babies?) You go to an estate planning attorney for the same reason I did, because you want to know that when something happens to you, the people you care about the most are going to be OK. They’re going to have someone to take care of them and enough resources to live a full and happy life. You want the best for them, just like I want the best for my children.
If there is one thing I wish people would do when it comes to estate planning, it’s to “let it go”. Let go of the idea that estate planning is about a document or having a perfect will or setting up a trust. At its simplest and best, estate planning is about taking care of the people you love. Along the way, there are tools we will use; yes, a will; yes, a trust; but none of those things work properly if they are not part of an integrated and holistic estate plan, which is designed for YOUR situation and to take care of the people that YOU love. None of those tools work properly if the assets you own are not actually aligned with your customized plan.
Sing it with me one time now, “Let it go, let it go, can’t hold it back anymore…” and let go of that pesky idea of documents being the end all. I want you to know that you can take care of your family after you are gone, but a document just isn’t going to do that for you. You need a holistic plan, one that fits your life and your wishes.
If you’re ready to say “Let It Go” to the idea of estate planning as documents and start planning holistically to care for the ones you love, we here at Family Estate Planning Law Group would love to speak with you about it. Schedule your complimentary consultation today!