That’s Why We Play the Game! – Planning for the Unexpected

As those of you who follow this blog know, I am a big sports fan.  So last week I gorged myself on a lot of great college football.  The big games of course were the new college football playoff games, held in conjunction with the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl.  Until this year, the national championship at college football’s highest level has always been decided by voters based upon their perception of who is the best.  There is always a lot of weeping and wailing over the choice as those on the outside feel robbed.  This year college football determined that the national championship would be decided on the field.  Now there are only four teams in the playoff and so some deserving teams still felt rightfully robbed.  This year’s participants were in order of ranking: Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, and Ohio State.  Leading up to the game Ohio State playing with a third string quarterback was given no chance to beat mighty Alabama.  In fact, many believed Ohio State did not even belong in the field. Most also thought a tough, physical Florida State team having won 29 straight would probably be too strong for the flashy team from Oregon.  We all now know that Oregon dominated Florida State and Ohio State outplayed Alabama to move on to next week’s championship game.So what does this have to do with estate planning or succession planning?  Well, every day I meet with people who tell me that there will NEVER be a divorce, there will NEVER be a re-marriage, there will NEVER be a problem with their children.  I hope they are right.  But I really encourage them to plan for these contingencies, because THEY HAPPEN EVERY DAY!  They happen to families who thought they would NEVER happen to them.  In sports you often hear the quote: “That’s why we play the game.”  This, of course, means we never really know what happens until the game actually plays out.  The same is true in life.  We never really know what is going to happen until it is all over.  That is why a good estate plan or succession plan will take into account contingencies.  The plan will provide options in the event those unwanted circumstance come to pass.So remember, we are planning for the long term.  We don’t know how things are going to play out.  So develop a game plan that will take into account the different paths life may lead you on and be willing to keep that plan up to date to meet the changing circumstances of your life.  As for the championship game, while I am a longtime Buckeye fan, as an ASU graduate I am an even more ardent supporter of the Pac-12 conference (other than the team from Tucson) so I am rooting for the Ducks.  I hope it is a great game and I hope you all have a great 2015.