Courage to Choose

I heard a great quote recently from Winston Churchill.  He said: “Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities... because it is the quality which guarantees all others.”  One of the greatest challenges people have when planning is making choices.

  • Which child should you choose to serve as trustee?
  • How will you choose to care for your special needs child when you no longer can?
  • Will you choose to sell the family business to your son or give it to him and what will you choose to do for your other children?
  • Will you choose to give an inheritance to you daughter whose marriage is rocky or your son who has problems with substance abuse?
  • Will you choose to leave a legacy of charitable giving?

There are many difficult choices to be made when planning an estate and it takes courage sometimes to make the right choice.  It takes courage to choose the best over just the good.  Many worry about giving offense, but my counsel is always that you can never go wrong when making the courageous choice.Unfortunately, many decide not to choose.  Which, of course, is a choice in and of itself.  When our courage fails us and we choose not to choose, the results can be devastating.

  • Litigation between a surviving second wife and your children over who controls the estate.
  • An estate lost to the new husband of your wife.
  • Brother pitted against brother over the value of the farm – a relationship never to be repaired.
  • A special needs child who loses government assistance when she receives her quarter interest in a parcel of land that cannot be sold.
  • A fire sale of estate assets to pay estate taxes.

What choice will you make?