We Listen.

Some Things That Can Ruin Estate Plans and Information We Need To Adapt

Our best laid plans can go awry. And, as they say in the armed forces, “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” Indeed, many financial plans have been rendered obsolete or non functional by recent events.

As we have observed before, many wills and estate plans in Pennsylvania fail because families fail to structure their assets and beneficiary designations to match the plan. A will or trust says one thing but the assets are jointly titled or otherwise pass outside of the plan. In other cases, a plan fails because the unimaginable happens.

Does this mean that you shouldn’t plan for retirement, college tuition, weddings, tax savings, and to pass on your assets? To the contrary. Plans are like goals.

If we fail to set goals we have no basis to act or to judge the progress we are making. Just yesterday I met a 24 year old man who set a goal to create a million dollar a year company by the time he was 21. He missed his goal by 18 days. But, he said that he would never have achieved it without setting that goal. It motivated him and it allowed him to see how he was doing and to adapt.

Establishing a plan means that we might fail to achieve the end result. The plan may need to be revised and we may need to adapt. But we are almost always better off having gone through the planning process.

And, in times of trouble, we need information to help us to adapt the plan. So, below are a few links that might be useful in revising the plan and in adapting to our new circumstances.

And because many people hear only the bad news, take a moment to consider the good news. Gas prices, while rising slowly have been quite low. Many families are saving at rates not seen for decades. We are still giving to charity and are vacationing in our own country rather than spending dollars overseas.

There is little purpose in subjecting ourselves to constant bad news. For many people, that means that they become so absorbed in the bad and what is beyond their control, that they fail to act on matters still within their control.

We can still have a say in government. So watch how the government spends the money and tell them what you think with your letters and your vote. The spending can be viewed by clicking here. or by visiting http://www.recovery.gov/

Want to calculate how much you now need to retire? Want to make a gift to charity and need to know if you can? There are a number of great financial and personal calculators here. Just click www.paesateplanners.com for links to several tax and personal financial calculators. Then start doing what you can. Work on what you can control rather than worrying about the matters outside of your control. You will feel better.

David M. Frees III

Follow David Frees on Twitter for estate, tax, financial, and asset protection planning information
for you and your loved ones.

Unruh, Turner, Burke and Frees offers legal services in a variety of fields and has offices in West Chester Pennsylvania, Phoenixville Pennsylvania, and Malvern Pennsylvania. The firm services clients the greater Philadelphia area including Chester County, Montgomery County, and Delaware County.

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