Estate Planning: Suitable For All Ages - By Peter Geckeler
We have all heard the Benjamin Franklin adage, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” I will be turning twenty six next month, and I without a doubt spend more time thinking and planning for the annual certainty of taxes over the eventual certainty of death. I’ve found that most individuals in their twenties, thirties and forties don’t consider death to be a near reality. Why? Well because the average life span for a female in the United States is 81.6 and for a male is 76.9 – so I am bound to live at least that long, right? Not exactly. James 4:14 reminds us, “Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”
No matter your stage of life, whether twenty or eighty, we all must consider the frailty of life. The “best-case scenario” is making it beyond those statistics listed above, seeing your children and grandchildren grow and passing away in your sleep at age 120. But we must also must take into account the “worst-case scenario,” illness & death. Hope for the best, plan for the worst. And that’s what so few individuals do – plan. Consider this – 92% of Americans adults under the age of 35 have never drafted a Will.*
I understand that the prospect of death is not a fun topic to face, especially if you are just starting your career, marriage, and family. But in the case of estate planning, you can chose one of two options: taking no action and ignoring the worst case scenario. The result of this option is often a mess for your loved ones and your survivors. The second option is that you take responsibility and make a plan designed to make your death just a bit less difficult for your loved ones. With planning, you have the ability now to make your passing in the future easier on those you care about.
We would love to help you think through the many decisions that come with estate planning and point you in the right direction to have the applicable estate documents drafted.
The SFA does not give tax or legal advice.