How many people do you know who describe with glee the meeting with their estate planning attorney? To the contrary, I know many who’ve been working on their estate plan for years. In fact, the plan will remain incomplete unless of course, they are facing international travel which will sometimes prompt a hurried meeting with the lawyer.
I often meet with families related to issues of planning their wills and trusts. Frankly, it is often a dreaded event for them. The truth is that most are well equipped when it comes to running their business at high performing levels. But few are equipped at passing on their business. Similarly, they all typically have some idea of how much wealth they’ll pass on to their children.
This week I sat down with a long time friend of mine. He’s well into his 80s. About 10 years ago, he made his first major gift. At the time of the gift, he called me and told me that he finally felt like he could die. He felt such relief and freedom in making the gift. Since that time, however, his giving has slowed to a trickle. While his income has also slowed, his net worth suggests the need for more current giving. But our talks have stalled.