Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Video: Getting Started in Estate Planning

Forbes' video network online posted, on September 15, 2010, a short segment entitled Estate Planning:  How to Get Started, starring Deborah L. Jacobs, the author of the recently-published book Estate Planning Smarts.

Her advice during the interview impresses the need for personal planning, and urges that this not "be done at home" due to the pitfalls and pain that can result.  Pain avoidance is a real motivator, since "[a]bove all, estate planning is a way to take care of yourself and the people you love."

Her book's website notes that, "[r]egardless of your net worth, a good estate plan should accomplish these essential goals:
  • Caring for yourself by authorizing people to handle your affairs if you no longer can because of illness or disability
  • Specifying who gets what after you pass away
  • Providing for children who are minors or who have special needs.
In my blog posting on September 29, 2010, I noted an article written by Deborah L. Jacobs entitled Do-It-Yourself Wills, a No-No.  I agreed with Deborah that "DYI" should not be an option in personal and estate planning.

However, thorough preparation -- in learning about this area of the law, in listing your personal goals and obstacles, and in summarizing your situation (your holdings & income, versus your debts & commitments) -- is very important.

Pairing a prepared client with a qualified professional should result in a good outcome.