A valuable surprise present from a memorable birthday party

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Estate planning attorneys revel in fun and gaiety just as much as other persons do, which means — for purposes of this blog post — that they are far from immune from the excitement that gifts, laughter and camaraderie engender at birthday parties.

Such festivities can also serve as much more than mere enticements to fun, though, as a recent article on estate administration stresses. That piece makes an important ancillary point, which many estate planning professionals would not hesitate to pass along to readers, even as those individuals are happily mingling with friends and families while commemorating a milestone in life.

A columnist who just recently celebrated her spouse’s 65th birthday party writes in a financially themed article that, in addition to being celebrations of life, birthdays “are also a reminder that time passes quickly.”

Which brings us to that ancillary point that we suggest links birthdays to estate planning in more than tenuous fashion. Birthdays’ scoring of time passing, notes Investment News contributor Mary Beth Franklin, also serves to remind that “preparing for the inevitable is one of the greatest gifts we can give our loved ones.”

Franklin admits to overconfidently believing that she and her husband had it all figured out in the planning realm, given their collective focus on financial matters, coupled with the fact that they had already executed a will some years back.

The couple’s participation in an estate planning workshop/seminar went far toward convincing her otherwise, though. The couple’s will was woefully out of date and in need of revision, their children of yesteryear had become adults, and health care concerns that were absent years ago were now front-burner issues.

That compelled a renewed focus on relevant planning updates and the fashioning of tailored and legally vetted documents and forms that will help ensure protections and peace of mind into the future.

In a sense, the birthday party reflection and nudge toward sound and timely planning was the best present bestowed upon Franklin’s husband and family at his capstone celebration.

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