Ah… the end of a year and beginning of a new year. It’s a traditional time to take stock and set priorities and goals. There are plenty of checklists to give you pause and cause you concern, so we don’t want to add to that. But we want you to consider a long-postponed item that you should put to the front of your lists. It’s interesting how much effort goes into planning a vacation or an important party or other activity, and how little thought we give to one of the most important things we can do to give ourselves, and our family, peace of mind. Without proper planning, your death can be a disaster to your loved ones. Maybe you have heard some of these horror stories.

True Tales
Two individuals with children from prior relationships marry late in life. One spouse dies, leaving his/her retirement plan to the new spouse with verbal instructions that the survivor should leave whatever is left in the retirement account to his/her children. The survivor finds a new several years later. The new loves boats, has expensive hobbies and figures if they have it, they should enjoy a more lavish lifestyle with the newly acquired wealth. So they spend several years satisfying the new spouse’ dreams. Pretty soon its gone. Not long thereafter, the new spouse leaves looking for a new wealthy widow/widower to marry. Suddenly the survivor finds themselves without a safety net of assets and there is no inheritance for the deceased spouse’ children . . . All of the pain is avoidable with a good plan!