Idaho Estate Planning - The George Patton Approach to Planning

Idaho Estate Planning - The George Patton Approach to Planning

Just StartGeorge Patton's advice: "A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week."

Being in the Estate Planning and Elder Law business, one of the difficult challenges we have is getting clients to take action. If there is no urgency to act, then there is no strong motivation to act. There is just a lot of time to "think about it". The downside is that while they are thinking about it, it may be costing their family money. In our experience, there are three reasons to take action now:

Reason #1: Bad Planning vs. No Planning.

You could argue that a bad plan is better than no plan at all. A bad plan implemented is far better than the best plan only thought about. Strange as it may sound, we believe that if you have a plan of some form, even a bad one, you are light years ahead of those who do not. This "bad" planning versus no planning can motivate a client to think differently.

Reason #2: Stop Procrastinating - The Hydra of Indecision.

The greatest source of failing to plan is procrastination.

We have talked with many families who really need to take action, but drag their feet when it comes to doing their planning. There are many reasons for their procrastination: fear of the unknown; lack of confidence in the recommendation; lack of understanding; lack of trust in the advisor (shocking but true); lack of time to think; confusion and anxiety; and cash flow issues. Procrastination is like a multi- headed Hydra: once you cut off one reason not to act, it seems like two more grow back. The problem is that procrastination never solves the problem. The only way you defeat procrastination is to act in the face of it. The key question is, "If this planning works the way you want it to work, what is the benefit to you and your loved ones?" This type of question can help you to move through the procrastination sluggishness and get focused on the critical issue, which is the real motivating factor.

Reason #3: Someone else will make money off of your procrastination.

There seems to be a whole industry in wide support of procrastination. In some cases, there is more money to be made off of people who procrastinate than those who plan ahead. For example, probate attorneys can make more in attorney's fees from helping a family probate an estate where the deceased died without a will than if the deceased had a fully funded trust. In this example, procrastination works well for the probate attorney, but costs the family more than if they had had an effective plan in place. These are some of the saddest stories we hear, full of estate planning “what ifs”, the saddest being “What if there was a plan in place, how much easier would this be now”?

Simply put, Do It Now! We all want to stay in control of our lives as long as possible and for that we must plan. When it comes to planning for the future, the sad fact is that every year we fail to plan we lose options. Wait long enough and the only options left are those made for us out of desperation. Remember, timing is everything. In order to maintain control as long as possible and have an effect on your own quality of life decisions you must choose to act now. Your decisions need to be made known and documented correctly. Remember, good planning is no accident.

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