People in California have a lot of uncertainty about the future, especially when unpredictable natural disasters strike. When tragic and scary events happen, it is human nature for people to feel helpless and fragile in their own mortality. When confronting these very difficult issues, some people may take solace in the fact that their legacy, including the financial well-being of their loved ones, is well planned. We cannot predict or avoid certain tragedies, but we can control what happens to our possessions, our loved ones and our own bodies, in the event of an incapacitating injury.
People were stunned and saddened to hear about the death of one of the world's most innovative comedic minds earlier this month. Robin Williams' suicide was completely unexpected to most people, even those who knew him best. His family, friends and fans will mourn the loss for years to come, but even in light of this tragedy people can add "good family provider" to the list of things for which Williams will be remembered.
People in California may have seen a recent editorial article in the New York Times about the state of familial relationships and the difficulty of starting conversations about estate planning. Talking about anything related to death can be difficult and uncomfortable, but when it comes to financial planning for families and future heirs, not having the conversation can create a much more uncomfortable, even dangerous, situation down the road.
People in California may have heard that the late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman declined to set up any trusts for his three children, saying he didn't want them to be "trust fund kids." Recently, the musician Sting said essentially the same thing. With this recent negative celebrity press for trusts, it might appear to a casual onlooker that wanting financial security for your children is somehow a bad thing. Sure, most people would want to avoid enabling a stereotype "trust fund kid," but just because a child or heir has a little financial security or jumpstart is by no means a sentence condemning them to a lifetime of coddling and laziness.