A Confession. I (MIstakenly) Thought Estate Planning was Namby-Pamby.

In my younger tax lawyer days I was much more interested in trust & estate controversies and litigation, compared to estate planning. I still, of course, greatly enjoy the controversy / litigation.

What I confess is that in these earlier years I looked at estate planning as a somewhat namby-pamby area of law practice. I also in these earlier years was single, owned fast motorcycles, and, frankly, personally gave very little thought to my own possible incapacity or death. I saw only life, without problems.

Now, in my 20+ years of lawyering, I have seen and handled far too many tax and non-tax problems that stem from inadequate or poor planning in the face of incapacity or death. The legal fees to deal with these latent problems after-the-fact are, in many cases, at least 10 times what the cost would have been with adequate, preventive planning in place.

I now see estate planning (i.e., planning for estate / income taxes, incapacity, asset protection, and death) as a material financial investment for families. It still may not be that exciting, may still lend itself to a namby-pamby image, but the reality is effective planning translates to significant savings for families, both emotional and financial.

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