Client File: Exploration, Trust and Finding a Balance
Many times life is simple and a husband and wife can establish “I love you wills” but all too often circumstances require advanced planning. Mr. and Mrs. “Magellan” came to us knowing they need to update their estate planning documents. They had been married for 9 years and Mr. Magellan had been delaying a conversation around their future estate planning needs. Mr. Magellan had three children from a previous marriage and Mrs. Magellan had never been married and had no children of her own. They were both successful financially and enjoyed extensive travel. Mr. Magellan’s children required financial support from time to time and both Mr. and Mrs. Magellan were inclined to help the children. Mrs. Magellan was always very generous when it came to Mr. Magellan’s children. In the event of his passing he wanted to provide for his wife but he also wanted to ensure that his children were fairly considered in his will.
Weighing his concerns about the future of his estate and the welfare of his children along with the plans he wanted to make with his wife caused him stress and confusion. He wanted to be able to have a plan in place that did not come across as untrustworthy to his partner. The love and trust between them was strong, but there can still be room for doubt about what outside influences might impair a successful wealth transfer.
THE PROCESS OF DISCOVERY
Our planning meetings with this couple took place over the course of two years. Finding a balance between living for today and creating a successful estate plan is not something that happens overnight. The Magellans had found a safe place to speak freely with an unbiased advisor. Both Mr. and Mrs. Magellan were able to express their concerns while reinforcing their faith in one another.
From listening to their concerns, needs, goals and questions we helped put together a framework from which we identified multiple scenarios. We demonstrated how their funds would survive several different future financial outcomes as well as estate-planning scenarios.
The Magellan’s now travel around the country and the globe together and separately, seeking adventures to fulfill their insatiable desire for exploration. They also find the time to visit Mr. Magellan’s children and help them financially. They are armed with the knowledge of how they may provide a positive financial impact to the children today and still meet their personal goals. The plan protects Mr. and Mrs. Magellan during their lifetimes as well as the heirs that are important to each of them.