By Lorie L. Burch, Owner and Founding Attorney of Burch Law
“Make the decision and the details will fall into place.”
This is wise advice my sister once gave to me. She often says that she was a great role model growing up…for what NOT to do…but this was something she said to me during a very difficult time in my life that truly gave me clarity, and I’ve kept it with me as a reminder of how to take action. If you know my sister, PLEASE do not share with her that I’m admitting what a pivotal lesson she taught. It would just go to her head.
When she said, “make the decision and the details will fall into place,” I was in my first year of law school. And I. Was. Miserable. I was all the way in Washington, DC, very far away from my family in Texas. I hadn’t been getting the straight A’s I was used to all throughout school and I didn’t really click with the law school student mentality. Being an insufferable introvert, I also didn’t really try to get involved. Most of all, however, my biggest struggle was that it was during my first year of law school that I realized I was gay. It was a huge relief to be able to make sense of so many feelings…but it was also very scary and isolating to think about what that meant for my life. In talking to my sister, she knew I had always been so driven, so “go go go,” that I never took time to breath. I had basically wanted to be a lawyer since birth and was the classic overachiever. She knew…and I knew…I needed a break. But what about school? What about my apartment lease? What about my summer internship? What about….you name it. Julie very calmly said: “Make the decision and the details will fall into place.” She was so right. I KNEW I needed a break. I KNEW I needed to be with my family and work out a lot of the emotional turmoil I was in. So I made the decision. Once I did, I made a list of the details: 1. Work out leave of absence from law school – check, 2. Figure out apartment lease – check, 3. Notify internship – check, 4. Arrange movers – check. And the list goes on. It was the year off I needed. I spent time with my family, worked with a counselor, volunteered, adopted a kitten, and even ended up working part-time for a law firm where an attorney took me under his wing to help on a pro bono case for the ACLU. It was exactly what I needed to be able to go back to law school a year later and finish the job. And the rest, as they say, is history.
So why am I pouring my heart and soul out to you? What does this have to do with estate planning? EVERYTHING actually! I have found in the decades of doing this work that far too many people delay getting started because they aren’t sure of some of the details. Who should make financial and medical decisions? How should you divide your money and assets? Who should take care of your kids? So while you feel stuck in the details, you aren’t getting ANYTHING done and risking something happening before you make a plan.
So ask yourself: DO I WANT TO HAVE AN ESTATE PLAN? If the answer is “yes,” then get started NOW! Make the decision and the details will fall into place.
Put another way, here are 5 reasons to make the decision now to get your estate plan:
- You can work out the details while drafting! At Burch Law, once you make the decision to start, we prepare drafts based on your initial thoughts or even leave items open for things you may be thinking about. Just getting the drafts can be VERY helpful in making final decisions as you can read how everything goes together on paper rather than just thinking about them.
- You can always change it. That’s right, even once you sign it, you can always go back and make revisions and updates. But at least you will have a plan!
- If you do it the right way (don’t even THINK about doing this yourself or online), it is guaranteed to save time and money…when your family needs it most!
- Imagine the comfort and peace of mind you will have knowing you have SOMETHING in place. We hear all the time how GUILTY people feel that they have put off this planning. Think about the mental and emotional strain that is putting on you…whether you realize it or not. Get this done NOW and get some peace of mind!
- Anything you decide now will be far better than what the state of Texas will decide for you. That’s right, you heard it here, if you don’t have a Will, the state of Texas has one for you!
Friends, this is critical planning and it’s not a matter of IF you need it…it’s WHEN. Stop letting all the details get in the way of even getting started. Decide to do it now…and the details will fall into place. Let Burch Law help guide you every step of the way!