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"Living with your bags packed!"

If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. Matthew 24:43

This is not intended to offend or to preach. Rather, it is to explain why I do estate planning. Estate planning is not about dying. It is about living! I believe estate planning is arguably one of the most important expressions of love, consideration, and compassion we can show our loved ones.

Estate planning requires substantial sacrifice and forethought. This is because plans and planning will not only make wishes known but more importantly, it will take such a burden off loved ones when they need to either be focused on our care and recovery or grieving their loss. Rather than worrying about “business” decisions, they can feel our love, consideration, and comfort because we planned ahead, and lived with our bags packed.

No one knows what tomorrow will bring. We have heard that saying hundreds, if not thousands, of times. And experience has proven it to be true, especially recent events. Regrettably, some of us just live in constant fear of getting sick, injured, and dying that we do nothing, take no risks, and avoid living--they do nothing. But fortunately, the rest of us want to live and enjoy the blessings life has to offer, and therefore, we make plans and sometimes, those plans also include contingencies. That is all estate planning is--making plans (and back-up plans) to enjoy life to its fullest.

Take for example a vacation. To ensure you have an enjoyable vacation, you consider so much as you make your plans. What is the weather going to be like? What type of outfits do you need? Will you need toiletries or can you buy them there? Do you have enough medication to last the duration of the trip? And so many more questions just like these that affect how you prepare for your trip and pack your bags. Of course, some questions you can answer with a little research and based on the circumstances of the trip. And, then there are questions you will not be able to answer with any certainty, like the weather, because somethings are completely out of your control. Regardless, you do your best, keep an eye on the forecast, prepare and pack accordingly. Then you finally finish making your arrangements, pack your bags, and breathe a sigh of relief knowing you have prepared the best you can and are ready for your vacation. What a great feeling.

Well, that planning process and feeling of readiness is why we refer to our estate planning services as, “Living with your bags packed!” In life, while we have no idea what trips awaits us, we do know, however, there will be many trips that can be aided by estate planning. Some of these “trips” are expected and some are not (e.g., marriage, pregnancy, a new job, termination, becoming a grandparent, losing a loved one, beginning college, a debilitating stroke, a divorce, a deployment, etc.). And, like those occupations that have “go bags” because they are required to “go” at a moment’s notice, we too should be prepared for both the planned trips as well as for the trip we have to “go” at a moment’s notice when “that” call comes. Estate planning is about being prepared for life's inevitable trips. Hence, we believe it is important for everyone to be “Living with their bags packed.”


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