Planning for your Unique Assets
We each contribute to our lives, families, jobs, and dependents every day. But what are the things unique to your life? What are the things that, right now, only you can provide? Ask yourself: "what would happen if I'm not around to take on this responsibility?"
Over the course of our lives it takes us years to acquire certain skills, experience, and characteristics that govern the kinds of responsibilities we each take on, and shape the way we handle those responsibilities. It's these personal "assets" that make estate planning so important.
Take, for example, your long-living pets. For the most part, you can set up simple pet trusts or name guardians for common pets such as cats or dogs. But what about the not so common pets? Horses, turtles, or parrots?
Last week I spent some time at one of my favorite ranches in Coconut Creek, FL. Before going for a ride I pitched in at the stables by feeding and grooming the horses. I chatted with a few of the owners about their experiences with their pets and it was so interesting to see how knowledgeable each owner was about the particular personality of their horse.
In the midst of my conversation with an owner, one of the horses started banging on his stable door and creating a racket! The owner turns to me and says, "Oh, he just wants you to acknowledge he's here, he tends to act like a teenager sometimes." Then he yelled "That's enough, Mickey!" and the horse wallowed off to the other end of his stable.
See, that particular understanding of Mickey's personality traits are just one of the things that makes being Mickey's owner unique. That, and of course, the willingness to care for Mickey for the roughly 30 years he is expected to be living. The costs of caring for and maintaining a horse, are far beyond what it costs to raise an average human child! Not to mention the fact that the older a horse gets, the more dependent it is on it's owner. These are just a few reasons why it's so important to preserve and include the special skills and knowledge you've gained as a pet-owner in your estate plan.
Another great example of planning for unique assets or circumstances is a niche or cutting-edge business. Last week I also had the pleasure of visiting the Biscayne Bay Brewing Company (click one of the pics below to visit their site). I was invited to visit the brewery by co-owner Jose Mallea who was nice enough to give us a tour of their gigantic space! (Stay tuned for updates! They are opening a tap room soon.)
We all got to discussing the challenges of Florida beverage law and how craft breweries like BBBC are charged with the duty of changing the political plane in this field. To put it lightly, Jose Mallea (who happens to have worked at the White House), knows his politics! His experience with law makers has afforded him a great advantage in his new venture.
If you own a company in an industry that heavily revolves around politics and changing laws (i.e. a brewery in a city that has just become exposed to such a niche field) who would have the intellectual capacity to take care of your business after you're gone? It's important to ensure that the hard work you've put in becomes part of your long-lasting legacy!
These are only two examples of special assets and circumstances that should be carefully handled in your estate plan. What makes your life unique? Protect it by providing for its care and maintenance after you're gone.
To discuss your estate plan and how you can plan for your own unique circumstances, give us a call at (305) 860-8338 to get started! 04/06/2015