Tel: 416 767-CASS (2277)
Fax: 416-491-0273

Garry Cass, ext.207
Assistant: Josie Dobosz, ext. 277

I Have No Time to Do It Now

Procrastination. As I sit down to write this section, it is almost a week since I wrote my last article. Was I too busy to start it before now? No. Did I think about doing it earlier? Yes. Did I let myself go on “Manana (pronounced man ya na) Standard Time (MST)? Well yes, for a few days.

MST is a practice we all fall into from time to time. Let’s face it, we all have things we’d rather do any other time than now. The ticklish problem with MST when you need to do estate planning, is that tragically, “manana” may never come . . .

Time Can Be Found Even in a Busy Life

I trust that most of you lead busy lives. Many of you also own homes and may have moved a number of times over the years. Very few people move on the spur of the moment, and one reason is that there are a number of steps in a typical real estate transaction:

  1. You make the decision to move.
  2. You interview a number of realtors and select one.
  3. You simultaneously look for a new house and ready yours for sale.
  4. You negotiate a purchase agreement for your new home and a sale agreement for your current home.
  5. You satisfy any conditions in your deals including doing a home inspection and arranging financing.
  6. You interview a number of lawyers and hire one.
  7. You attend to the seemingly endless details that surround the move.
  8. You close the transactions, take possession of your new home and begin to make it yours by decorating and renovating based on the plans you made while doing everything else on this list.

Given that most of you lead very busy lives, how did you make time to do these things? Simply put, you found the time because you wanted the result!

Taking time to Plan Your Estate

Now, let’s turn to estate planning. Who really wants to think about DDT – disability, death and taxes? Yet, as responsible adults , we must. Too often, estate planning is undertaken in reaction to a life crisis. A friend, relative, or even you yourself, learn they have a critical illness. They may face surgery or even death. Reactive estate planning taken under such circumstances, is at best, an interim measure, and one that likely overlooked many important elements of a sound plan.

The best estate planning (and I take it that you only want the best!) happens when you are deliberate,  unstressed and proactive. This means that once you make up your mind to do it, you make it a transaction, just like buying a house.

There are a number of steps to follow, but take them one at a time, knowing your goal is to get your estate in order so that your family, friends and business are protected against life’s crises.

These are the steps of the transaction:

  1. You make the decision to get your estate planning in order.
  2. You meet with and interview qualified professionals as necessary (lawyer, accountant, insurance, and financial advisors) and select your team.
  3. You make sure that each team member is aware of the others and that they have your permission to exchange information and ideas about your situation. It is also important to establish which professional is the leader of the team.
  4. Set a time frame for completing the process. Meet with the team members as necessary to allow them to collect information and develop a proposal for you.
  5. Do your homework about the elements of the proposal such as cost, and finalize the plan as is or with amendments.
  6. Implement the plan in a timely fashion with each professional doing his/her piece.

The difference between the reactive plan and the proactive plan is very simple: in the former, you may be left with the fear that something was missed, while in the latter, you are assured that everything has been disclosed, discussed and arranged.

If I’ve got you thinking about it now, take the first steps without further delay. Remember, “It’s the right thing to do.”

© Garry Cass - 2010 - 2015
Website designed by CdeGruchy : web design and content development.