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Tell It To Me Slowly

Posted 6 years 354 days ago ago by Danielle Streed

When we think of the lyrics to a song we have been singing for ages (The Zombies’ single hit in 1969), we don’t normally associate lyrics of a song with something like the topic of estate planning.  But when you listen to the lyrics . . . What’s your name?  Who’s your daddy?  Is he rich like me? Has he taken any time to show you what you need to live? Tell it to me slowly.  These words could ring true with families that pass significant wealth and don’t discuss any part of their estate plan with their kids or family.  Who are the players of this family: A second wife and children from the first marriage?  We read stories in the news all the time where wealthy parents have children who are stealing from their parents, fighting the estate because they didn’t get what they thought they should  or what they deserved, or where funds are left to the new spouse and the kids are left out altogether.  Warren Buffett did it the best when he came out and basically told his kids don’t expect much of an inheritance, I am leaving it to charity.  The good news is that Mr. Buffett has taken the time to “show his kids what they need to live.”  Many parents do not.  Many parents enable and support a child’s lifestyle and never make them an accountable adult.  When the parent dies, many times the child has no money management skills and the funds received are soon squandered.  In many cases, the wealthy parent leaves the funds to the new spouse and the children of the first marriage get nothing but promises that the step-parent will leave them something at death.  If it really is the time of the season for loving as the song says, then love your family enough to be open and honest with them about your estate plans at the time of your death.

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