Among the most important services that we provide is the ongoing coaching that clients need in order for their plans to succeed. We never want to see the time, effort, and money invested in planning go to waste. We believe that “great lives don’t happen by accident.” Whether it is an exercise plan, a diet regimen, educational goals, or any other challenge we set for ourselves, we all need people we can rely upon to help us stay on track. One area where we see continual planning failure is in estate planning.
According to Carolynn Tomin, CFP® and Colleen Carcone, JD, CFP® “nine out of ten wealthy clients did not follow through on their estate plans because they believed their plan did not deal with their goals, wishes and objectives.”* Our experience is that this is true, despite the fact that their attorneys are often among the most competent, caring, and experienced professionals that money can buy.
Much of the problem is that estate planning is often compartmentalized and not seen as part of a greater whole. Yet, estate planning serves families, which by their natures are not separate things, but unique units connected by love and caring. During the estate-planning process, families and their advisors are often like strangers speaking different languages. Everybody knows what that want to say, but they do not have the words, or even the concepts that these words should represent. Clients try to implement their plans, but ultimately, expensive documents gather dust in a desk drawer or safe-deposit box. Worse, just as our families are grieving, we discover that our plans will not work, our families will not be taken care of as we wished, and our assets do not go where we planned for them to go.
Our next few blog posts will discuss basic estate-planning concepts and common pitfalls. Among these are:
- What is estate planning?
- What are the different ways that assets transfer upon death?
- Is there a difference between an executor and a trustee?
- I am remarried. How do I care for my spouse while taking care of my children?
- Can my spouse disinherit me?
- Are there taxes when I give money away and who pays them?
Keep in mind that we are not attorneys and we do not practice law. Always seek legal advice before taking action. Information provided in this blog is necessarily incomplete and our only goal is to help you make the most of the resources available to you. In other words, we want your plan to meet your “goals, wishes and objectives.”
Carolynn Tomin, CFP® Colleen Carcone, JD, CFP® "Principles of Estate Planning, 3rd ED, 2018, updated 2020." Course Information. Advisor’s Guide to Estate Planning: CFP Board Course ID#257116. Beacon Hill Financial Educators Inc. 51A Middle Street, Newburyport, MA 01950. https://www.bhfe.com/courses/All/Dual-Credit-Courses/CPE-CE-Courses/Advisors-Guide-to-Estate-Planning/. Accessed on 06/07/2021.