After a decade of working in the financial services arena and knowing the human propensity to “put off ’til tomorrow” when it comes to money matters, this story is extraordinary to me.
Personal Finance blog Get Rich Slowly has an excellent guest post on planning ahead for your demise. The father in this story went above and beyond, in my view, just to make things easier for his executor (his daughter, the author of the post). This wasn’t just ordinary estate planning. This was a process that took YEARS and the man was very intentional about it. I particularly appreciated the section on “Settling Affairs”, as it highlights a potential deficiency in the “all children receive equal shares” theory.
I see a couple of possible lessons in this story.
- Your executor has to be someone you trust implicitly.
- Take a significant amount of time to think through your plan, and be willing to alter the plan along the way.
- Realize that when an heir is also your executor, the emotions of the heir will make the job of the executor more difficult. Plan accordingly.
- When possible, have a real relationship with a banker, investment professional, insurance agent, attorney, and accountant.
What are some other conclusions that could be drawn from this example?