“You can’t predict. You can prepare.”
So said Howard Marks, billionaire co-founder of Oaktree Capital Management in one of his famous Oaktree Memos.
Most of us have purchased life insurance. We have a 401K or IRA. We have medical and dental insurance. Many of us keep a tool kit, a first aid kit and jumper cables in our cars. Some of us even keep 72-hour “Go-bag” kits ready-to-hand. Many have emergency food storage in our homes. Some even have a year’s supply of food storage! Many Californians – particularly those of us who have lived through many earthquakes, still keep a flashlight and shoes near our bedside in case of an earthquake.
Why do we do such things? It’s because we can’t predict, but we can prepare.
The absolute truth is that we never know what’s going to happen. But we can consider the likely scenarios and prepare for some of them. We can make sensible and practical preparations for the vagaries of an unpredictable or even unforeseeable future.
An estate plan should be one of those preparations.
I know from my own personal history – from my paternal grandparents, how devastating a failure to prepare an estate plan can be. It’s a story that is much too long for this Blog post. Suffice to say that when my grandfather passed, virtually everything that he and my grandmother had built over their entire lifetime was gone, lost to nursing home expenses and long-term medical costs for my grandmother. When my grandfather passed, he had gone through every last penny of his savings, pension and social security caring for himself and my grandmother. It was all gone. All of it. Nothing to leave to their only child, my Dad.
That tragedy has echoed down the years through my parents and then to my siblings and I. The saddest fact is that it all could have been avoided IF my grandparents only knew that a simple estate plan could have sheltered their assets, protected the wealth that they had spent their entire lives working for, and allowed for their financial legacy to be passed promptly and effortlessly to their son.
You don’t have to be a millionaire to benefit from an estate plan, or to have an estate plan prepared by a competent attorney. It only requires a decision and then action. I encourage you to make YOUR decision and ACT NOW!
For more information about how a wisely crafted estate plan can help avoid what happened to my grandparents, I invite you to review a free report: Set the Stage for Medicaid Eligibility, one of the 34 free reports available on my Firm website.