Story Book Endings

Posted on August 31, 2011

Story book endings only occur in . . . well, stories.  Okay, it happens in Hollywood too.  But happily ever after doesn’t have to be a fantasy.  It is possible in the real world.  Did you happen to catch the classic movie Meet Joe Black with Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt?  (No, we are not writing for People Magazinethese days!)

The reason I bring up that movie is quite simple.  If you haven’t thought about what you’d do if you’re days were numbered you should, because guess what . . . your days are numbered, just like everyone else’s!

First, the Legal

This isn’t a spoiler, but if you haven’t seen Meet Joe Black, the premise is that a man (Anthony Hopkins) has been called by the Grim Reaper.  But before passing into the next life, the Angel of Death makes a request, in essence: “Show me around the world.  Let me experience temporal existence and emotions as a human being.”  The gist is that Anthony Hopkins’s character—an incredibly wealthy man—knows he has very little time remaining on planet earth.  So what does he do?

Well, he’s presumably made all the legal arrangements necessary.  When you’re wealthy and have lots of assets to worry about, that goes without saying.  After all, who wants to believe they’ll leave a mess and a lot of fighting in their wake?  The better question, however, is have you thought about it?  Have you really considered the consequences of not having a plan?

There will always be fighting over the estates of the super rich, no matter how much planning they do and no matter how specific they are about their wishes.  It’s a function of the legal system and greed.  But the vast majority of people can totally prevent any type of interference by the court system with some very simple planning.  Then you can worry about what really matters.

What Really Matters

The character in Meet Joe Black knew what really mattered—family.  Knowing that death was just around the corner didn’t deter him from living the way he had always lived.  He engaged his family, showed them his love, and worked to pass on his story.  There was nothing more he could do, and there’s nothing more important for you to do.  That’s what really matters.  Sharing your authentic identity, beliefs, passions, expressing your love, and being in the moment when sharing experiences with your family is truly all that matters.

Get the legal stuff out of the way, so that you can live every day focusing on how you’ll be remembered and not worrying about the future for lack of certainty about being prepared.

Taking Care of it Now

I can help you address the legal component of planning your estate, and I’m going to help a few people get started for free.  I have some space left in my schedule this coming week, so if you call me today and mention this blog post, you’ll be given an opportunity to meet with me for a Family Wealth Planning Session absolutely free.  I normally charge $750 for these sessions, so act now or you might have to pay full price later.  And really, knowing that our days are numbered, is there any reason not to act now?

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