This is a guest post written by Clifford Holm, an attorney with Fuchs & Roselli, Ltd. www.frltd.com.
In 1986, a budding Chicago philosopher looked us square in the eye and cautioned us all:
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Almost 30 years later, the Bueller Doctrine (as I like to refer to it) is more relevant than ever.
Why is that?
Personally, I think it has to do with the fact that life moves faster today than it ever did and that’s not necessarily a good thing. It can impact our ability to fully appreciate what is truly important in our lives. It can also delay and distract us from taking a moment every once in a while to look toward the future and thoughtfully plan for ourselves and those we love.
At least one day a year, everyone reading this blog should adhere to the Bueller Doctrine. Set aside 12 consecutive hours to stop and look around.
Dare I say it? Yes. Take a “day off” to focus on that which is most important to you. In doing so, devote some quality time to making sure you have a plan in place for the future that is coming at you as fast as life itself.
What do you do?
Step One. Spend the morning of your “day off” with your financial adviser and your estate planning attorney. Have breakfast together. Or meet with them separately. It doesn’t really matter. Just do it.
You’ll be glad you did.
Talk about the economy. Critique the portfolio. Talk about your career and/or retirement. Bring everyone up to speed on the family. Any weddings? New grandchildren? Acknowledge concerns, financial or otherwise. Ask questions. Explore short and long-term goals.
Review your existing estate plan. At a minimum, your plan should include these three (3) essential documents:
- Last Will and Testament;
- Durable Power of Attorney for Property; and
- Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care.
Further, to the extent your current estate plan does not already include one, you may want to consider the benefits of using a trust to achieve your planning objectives.
Think about the people you will rely upon to handle things for you and your family down the road. Confirm who’s supposed to do what, when and for how long. What are their marching orders? Are the folks you’ve named still the right people for the job going forward? Think about whether and to what extent charitable giving might be part of your planning.
Work with your advisers to create the strategies you need in place to enjoy what you have today with the comfort of knowing there is a comprehensive plan for the future.
It will be time well spent.
Step Two. Note that in Step One, I said spend the morning with your advisers. Nice as your advisers may be, I suggest spending the rest of your day off with someone nearer and dearer and having some fun!
Go to the ballpark. Take a ride to the top of the Sears Tower (yes, I said the Sears Tower). Visit the Art Institute. Crash a parade.
Whatever you do, you really can’t go wrong.
Just don’t forget to stop and look around.
Quotes from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Paramount Pictures (1986)
Except as noted above, Copyright ©2014 Clifford R. Holm
All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission.