Clients often think in terms of “if I die, I want x, y, and z to happen.” Unfortunately, the human condition is still terminal…at least for now. There have been numerous attempts in history to end mortality. Often, it was the attempts themselves which induced death. Here’s a Newsweek article which details historical and current attempts to achieve immortality and “cure” death.
Until immortality is achieved, we must plan for the eventuality of death. Unfortunately, even people who seem very healthy may die — even suddenly at times. Here are just a few possible causes of sudden death:
- Transportation accident (Auto, airplane, boat, etc.)
- Terrorist Incident (bomb, etc.)
- Myocardial Infarction and other heart ailments
- Stroke, aneurysm, and other intracranial incidents
- Pulmonary embolism
- Aortic aneurysm rupture
- Gunfire or other violence
It’s important to impress upon clients and prospects the importance of planning, especially since we never know when or how we will face death.
A death without planning leaves many question marks. As estate planning attorneys know, without a plan, state laws of intestacy dictate where the assets would go. Those laws also determine who would have priority to be the executor and wrap up your affairs. Those laws are meant for the generic situation. However, rarely is a client’s situation generic. A tailored plan is much better. Impress upon clients and prospects that planning is an act of love.
It’s important for each of us to plan for the eventuality of our death. It’s the loving thing to do.
Stephen C. Hartnett, J.D., LL.M.
Associate Director of Education
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555