The month of April can be chaotic for any financial firm. We are helping clients with their day to day needs; we are also helping our clients make decisions that may save or lose them a lot of money. As we depart from this “Season of Tax Planning,” we open the door to a new season of preparation.
In the back of my outdoor mind, I am already planning the outlay of the garden, envisioning the seed placement, and foreseeing the results. For a gardening man, the month of May brings me to Mother’s Day weekend. This is the weekend that my family has historically always planted the garden. We prepare for the start, we plan for the outlay, and we celebrate the efforts. However, I want to take pause this year. Our Mothers need more than pretty flowers…on more than one occasion. In our busy lives, the month of May does force us to carve out time for our mothers, and our moms will always love you for what you are and what you do.
Let’s give it back:
- Mom doesn’t always tell you this, but her passion is to feel confident in the long term future.
- Mom doesn’t always insinuate to this, but she does want to consider you in her passing.
- Mom doesn’t generally ask of this, but she would like to feel financially secure
May is not usually the month that I talk about Estate Planning. However, with April showers, and May flowers, I am reminded that our mothers do….NEED. As we look back, Mom provided. Mom gave. Mom brought results. How can we return that favor (besides a May 14th flower delivery)? What does Mom truly need?
- Have you had “the conversation?” – “Mom, what are your plans, desires, and wishes for retirement and your end of life planning?”
- What is your Mom and Dad’s Long Term Care Plan? - Okay, careful. Mom and Dad will think you are asking about insurance on this question. Make sure to pause after “Care” before you say Plan. (This is a big question, requiring an open ended discussion with 2 branches of the family tree. Be sensitive; be kind.)
- And lastly, “is there anything that we/I should know about you or may desire to know about you if you were gone tomorrow?” – This will be the most valuable thing you could ask. We will always wish we had time back that we lost; and we will always wish for more knowledge from our parents than we received. Don’t miss the moment.
Estate Planning is a big step, and a difficult step for our clients. Many people struggle with putting together a legal will. I believe it has to do with our human challenge to admit mortality’s end. This is easily the most difficult crossroad for all of us, and our firm, as we help people prepare for the future. As we advise our clients to internally ask the tough questions and answer the same questions, take pause. Give it the time it deserves. To all our Mothers…the best. Happy Mother’s Day!