Estate and Long-Term Care Planning – Lessons From Baseball
Another baseball season is upon us. I’m always excited about the new season because that means warmer weather has arrived in Montana and my hopes are still alive, at least for a while, that my favorite team will win the World Series.
My wife Rhonda and I have attended a few major league baseball games together over the years. Rhonda has not been a big major league baseball follower, so she is always amazed at just how hard and unpredictable the game can be. I have to admit that when watching a professional baseball game up close and personal, I share her sentiment.
Take the batter, for example. He must approach the at-bat with a strategy in mind given the pitcher’s tendencies and the game situation. He gets only three strikes against him and to be successful he must withstand the pitcher’s arsenal of weapons–the wicked fastball, the knee buckling curveball, the deceiving changeup, and the bottom dropping, nasty slider. Success comes only with a game plan and attention to detail.
This is a topic that I have posted about in the past, but I believe the message is worth repeating. The lessons from baseball can be applied to estate and long-term care planning. Like the batter, we never know what life is going to throw at us. We need to establish a game plan and monitor and maintain that plan in order to ensure that our assets are managed for us if we can no longer handle our affairs, and to ensure that our assets go to whom we want, the way we want, when we want, and to do so with the least amount of taxes, professional fees and court costs possible.
Delaying or failing to implement our estate and long-term planning or failing to monitor and maintain our plan is like taking two strikes in baseball with the bases loaded and the game on the line. We always feel we have plenty of time to get things in order, but what comes at us is always unpredictable. In baseball, there is no worse feeling as a batter than to get caught looking at a called third strike, especially with the bases loaded. In real life, getting caught looking, i.e., failing to plan, can be devastating to a family. Instead of failing to plan and taking that third strike, strive to hit that estate planning home run and get your affairs in order. You, and your heirs, will be glad you did.