Why do we prepare for our vacations more carefully than for taking care of our families when we’re gone permanently?

Think back to your last vacation.  Sandy beaches or historical tours or thrill rides and cotton candy.  Got it?  Now think back to how you prepared for your vacation.

Did you put a special “I’m on vacation” message on your voicemail?

Did you create an auto-respond email saying you’d be gone?

Did you put a stop on your mail or newspaper?  Set a light to go on in the evening?

Did you have someone come to water your plants or care for your pets?

That’s a lot of planning for one vacation.  So, what kind of planning have you done for that vacation you’ll not be returning from?  What happens when you pass on from the earthly plane?  What kind of planning have you done for that kind of absence?  Anything?

If you’ve not done your estate plan, consider this:  what are the reasons why you go to so much trouble when you leave town for a few days or weeks?  It’s because, if you don’t, then when you return, there’s likely to be upset and angry clients/friends/family members who have been wondering where you are.  They want to know where the project is or the weekly communication or the return phone call.  They’re worried!  And you don’t want to worry them – or make them angry – so you do all of these little things to make sure they’re taken care of while you’re gone.  Same with the plants and the dog: without you caring for them, you make arrangements so they’re cared for.

But, when you go on that permanent vacation, you won’t be back to see the hurt and devastation you leave behind (if you don’t plan).  Your family, those closest to you, will bear the burden of your lack of planning.  And you’ll never know because you’ll be gone.

Consider making an estate plan – ANY estate plan – and use at least as much consideration as you would if you were going on a long vacation.  Your family is worth it.

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