They all have something in common. What could it be? They are all items that are chosen based on the value each individual places on them. For example, if having a big screen TV is not all that important to you, you’ll settle for an “average size TV,” or none at all. If you want to watch your favorite sporting event, movie, or play a video game like you are in it, then you spend the money to get one. You value it above other items you could have spent that money on. Why do folks spend more to buy a Honda than a Kia? Because they place value on the reputation Honda has for making quality vehicles that are comfortable and reliable (and I’m not saying that Kias are not). If they want a car to get them from point A to point B, they may not find as much value in Honda’s reputation.
Estate planning is the same way. I have found a misconception among some estate planners I talk with – they think that certain groups of people are not interested in estate planning. What I’ve found in my practice is that it is all about the value folks place on estate planning. Many of the people they don’t think will move forward with estate planning because of cost, leave the meeting in their nice car, drive home to their nice house, and watch their favorite show or movie on their big-screen TV with an impressive surround sound system and fancy 1 billion function remote (ok, the last one was an exaggeration). So it all comes down to value . . . if you value something at or above the cost to acquire it, you get it, unless you truly don’t have the funds to do so (and we’ve all probably done it even in that situation).
It is encouraging to me to see how many families I meet with value estate planning. Sure, I believe it’s a critically important life item, but it’s what I do for a living so I’m expected to say that. However, the families I meet with are not required to think, believe, or say that, and yet they do. And I’m grateful to be a part of it.
I honestly don’t even know why I’m posting this other than to share a good thing in a world full of so much bad news. I would love to hear your comments.