Is This Really Urgent?


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I must admit to you that the most difficult part of my job is getting those who should do this work to do it in a timely manner. I’m sure you can appreciate the fact that most people find this topic difficult to address and thus they tend to procrastinate…they put it off.

And when this happens, I will sometimes jokingly remind them that this is not something we have to do today or tomorrow. All they need to do is tell me the day they are going to die or become incapacitated and we’ll do it the day before!

The unfortunate truth is no one can tell me the day they are going to die or become incapacitated. I mean just look in the newspaper. I can assure you that everyone you will see who was in a car accident or some other catastrophe had no idea it was going to happen to them that day. Nobody you see in the obituary section knew their time on Earth was up.

This is a very personal reality for me. You see, I have to deal with individuals who procrastinated and wound up dead before they could complete their estate plan. It is a very painful and costly matter when this happens for those they leave behind.

Maybe you have heard of Bob Magness. He was the founder of TCI (Telecommunications, Inc.). He thought he had plenty of time. Unfortunately he did not.

Image of tombstoneThough Bob talked a lot about his estate plan, he never seemed to get around to it. Then he was stuck with the debilitating effects of brain cancer and that was it. It cost his estate an estimated $400 million in estate tax not to mention the costs, delays, and publicity of having to go through the probate process. And whether the ultimate distribution of his estate conformed to his intent, we will never know.

Regardless of your age, don’t delay the completion of your estate plan because you can’t know what’s coming next in your life that can affect the lives of your family and other beneficiaries.  Also, it is important to keep your estate plan current. In our last video in the series, you we’ll talk about getting started, the value of a good, comprehensive estate plan, and answer the question: Penny Wise or Pound Foolish?” 

If we can answer any questions or provide a complimentary counseling session to discuss your specific needs, please contact us at 805-277-5020 or e-mail

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Steven M. Greenwood, P.C.
2801 Townsgate Rd., Ste. 210
Westlake Village, CA 91361

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