I am a big football fan and one of my favorite teams to watch is the Oakland Raiders. The other day I saw a photograph from the team’s training facility. A sign above the door read: “WIN TODAY.”
I have thought about that slogan often over the last several days since seeing the photograph. With all things in life, when we attempt to swallow the elephant whole it can seem overwhelming, but if we break things down into component parts they are much more manageable. This is also true when it comes to estate planning.It is funny when people ask what I do for a living and I respond that I am an estate planning attorney, the first thing they usually say is: “Estate planning, I really need to do that.” Sometimes the decisions seem overwhelming, other times it is an aversion to considering one’s own mortality, but whatever the reason, the planning waits. But, if we think in terms of winning today it does not have to be overwhelming. Estate planning is flexible and can be broken down into and approached as smaller component projects.One action that can be taken today is to find out whether you would benefit from planning for gifting this year. The current gift tax exemption when coupled with historic low interest rates presents an opportunity that may not exist again for years to come. Under current law, the gift tax exemption will reduce dramatically at the end of this year. This presents an exciting planning opportunity today, regardless of the size of your estate.So as football season kicks off, remember the slogan “Win Today.” Don’t let the idea of planning overwhelm you. Begin the process and win each day.