“Play It As It Lies”

It is U.S. Open week.  The U.S. Open is probably my favorite tournament in golf; with the possible exception of my hometown Phoenix Open.  As I was watching the tournament yesterday I was reminded of one of the most fundamental rules of golf – Rule 13.  Rule 13-1 says: “The ball must be played as it lies, except as otherwise provided in the Rules.”  With few exceptions, as a golfer you must play your ball as it lies.  You generally can’t move your ball to a better location or take a mulligan (a do-over).The saying goes: “They say golf is like life, but don't believe them. Golf is more complicated than that.”  But, in this case, I think it may be true.  In life you don’t get a mulligan.  You don’t get to change your shot, you truly have to “play it as it lies.”  This is why the concept of estate planning tailored to your unique situation is so important.  If you have a special needs child, enacting a plan that ignores this fact is a mistake.  If you have a child who won’t get a job and squanders everything he is given, a plan that ignores this fact is a mistake.  If you have assets in multiple states, a plan that ignores this fact is a mistake.  If you have a family farm and want to see the farm survive, a plan that ignores this fact is a mistake.Each of us is at a different point and we will have different options that are available.  I can’t hit your shot and you shouldn’t be hitting mine.  If you are teeing off on a par 5 there is no sense in pulling out the putter, and if you are in the sand a driver probably won’t do.  So when you engage in estate planning – don’t look for one size fits all.  Play the right club and play it where it lies!