Recently my sister and I worked on finding a house to rent for a week this summer. There were various requirements – not too far of a drive for either of us, a drive that would go by a major airport to pick up our parents, enough bathrooms and bedrooms… and, ideally, a swimming pool. It was a big project and we put some time into it. I didn’t find planning the trip to be part of the fun.
Now that we have found a place and the week is blocked off on our calendars, I am starting to look forward to enjoying the fruits of my labors – sitting by the pool watching my kids and my sister’s kids play in the water.
Sometimes I will tell people that estate planning with me can be fun. That there’s a sense of humor I bring to the planning, that we are planning for the best future for your family, that it can clarify your values and how you want to live now. And, there’s almost always a few laughs during my client meetings. Clients give the feedback, “you made it easier than we thought it was going to be,” “we feel so good to be doing this”, or “that was actually… fun.”
But, for others, estate planning may be like the process of finding the vacation rental was for me, not particularly fun – something to get done well, making sure the details are right, etc. The result of the process, however, is a sense of accomplishment and tranquility.
So, if you are in the camp of “there’s no way the process estate planning could be enjoyable”, don’t think about the process. Focus on the results. Think of another time in your life where you finished a challenging project and felt great after – perhaps buying a house, starting a vegetable garden, a big project at work, etc. You can say, “estate planning may be challenging, and I will feel amazing knowing I took care of it.”
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