“Thank you for helping me with my estate plan. You have taken a load off my mind. I slept like a baby last night.” This is an actual quote from a “thank you” card I received from one of my clients after we had completed his estate plan. These sentiments are typical of what the majority of my clients tell me after we have completed their estate plan. I hear remarks like, “I am so relieved to finally have this done” or “this is something I have been meaning to do for so long.” To be honest, I had the same feeling when my husband and I finally completed our estate plan. I say “finally” because we procrastinated for about a year before we got serious about finishing our estate plan. I am not proud of our procrastination, especially since I had already prepared many estate plans for other people, but we had the same excuses that others have – too busy, the issues are “too deep” to think about, we are young (relatively) and have plenty of time to get it done, etc. However, once my husband and I completed our estate plan, I felt a great sense of peace and of accomplishment.
The older I get the more I realize two truths: (1) life is full of swift transitions; and (2) we are just temporary custodians of our treasures and trinkets here on earth. It is a harsh reality to come to grips with our own mortality. It is also a difficult process to make decisions concerning certain people or certain treasures. However, after you have carefully considered the issues, made the difficult decisions, and completed your estate plan, I can guarantee that you will feel pretty good about it. In contrast to worrying about the possibility that something will happen to you before you get your affairs in order, being at peace concerning your estate is a good place to be. © 2013 by Marlene S. Cooper. All rights reserved. (Marlene S. Cooper, a graduate of UCLA, has been an attorney for over 30 years. Her practice is focused entirely on estate planning, estate administration and probate. You may obtain further information at www.marlenecooperlaw.com, by e-mail at