Let Modern Family tell you how to live your life.
In this week's episode of the TV show "Modern Family," titled "Ringmaster Keifth," family patriarch Jay and his younger wife Gloria discuss needing to update their estate plan. You might not have noticed this cute little B story, but then again you probably are not currently launching an estate planning practice; for me, it felt like the universe telling me to stop watching TV and get back to growing my business.
"This is why I've been hounding you about your estate planning," Jay's son Mitch tells him after Jay almost gets electrocuted in a hot tub. "They haven't updated their paperwork since Joe was born," he continues, referencing Jay and Gloria's young son. "God forbid something bad should happen to them, we don't even know who they want to raise Joe." (In case this sounds pretty dark for a sitcom, don't you worry! Hijinks then ensue, no one dies, yada yada, funny show, you should watch it.)
Two things had been preventing Jay and Gloria from getting their affairs in order: (1) Gloria's fear that the universe would hear the discussion and cause something bad to happen, and (2) indecision over who would act as guardian to their minor son, Joe. These are not uncommon reasons why people avoid estate planning (maybe the latter more than the former...) but it's so important to get past them. Think about it; these obstacles are likely never going to disappear. If you're superstitious, you're not going to wake up tomorrow fear-free, and the decision of whom to name as agents - either for your children or for yourself - will never suddenly become easier.
So if you've decided to put an estate plan in place, then there's no time like the present! Rip off that band-aid! Carpe diem! YOLO! (That last one kinda makes its own point.) And if you're still not sure if you need one or not, more information can be found here or feel free to reach out to me with questions.
And, always remember, all of the documents in an estate plan are CHANGEABLE at any time. Maybe the person you want to name as your guardian should you become incapacitated is on the older side, so you don't necessarily want them in that role long-term but you do for now. That's no problem! We put them down now and then make a simple amendment at a later date. It's better to have something in place now, just in case, god forbid, a margarita machine falls into the jacuzzi you're relaxing in.