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What happens when you're not there?

One of the most important things for a client and his or her adviser to talk about is also one of the hardest. At whatever stage in life a client may be, except perhaps in old age, planning for what YOU want to happen when you no longer can act is something almost all of us choose to ignore or at least to put off for the time being.

You might say – as I have heard it said by an older client – that you do not particularly care and really do not have the energy to think about it. But most of us have loved ones, family and friends, who we care about to some degree. And most of us have something, be it personal belongings, investments, a home or something else to leave when we no longer can use it.

Whether you are motivated by the desire to exercise control, to provide direction, to help or simply to relieve your loved ones of the stress and effort of figuring out what you have and what to do with it, there is every reason to do some form of planning.

It does not always need to be complex or expensive to plan. It might be brief and easy, like a letter or perhaps a video. You could make a simple will and also an advanced care directive and power of attorney. Or you could hire professionals to put together a complete estate plan with all sorts of provisions.

So take a few minutes, think about things and where you might see difficulties arising. You know who does not get along, who needs no financial assistance or is desperate for help, who can be trusted and so on. While you can act, you can make it easier for your loved ones and shape your legacy to them. 

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