News and Articles

What's your "endgame"?

Sunday, January 12, 2020
Many of us have heard the term "endgame."  An endgame is the very last part of a strategic game, like chess or backgammon. The last few moves you make in your chess game are your endgame. From the chess meaning, endgame is also used figuratively to mean "end stages of negotiation." But this term could also be used in the estate planning arena. Wouldn't your "endgame" for your life include the two major decisions for everyone: who will get your possessions or estate and who will take care of your person and/or your finances?  Many of us have never considered our personal endgame unless it was something vague like intending to retire after a certain number of years, planning to travel after retirement, or hoping that our children won't sell off the family land. It is a sad fact that 67% of Americans have no estate plan and no power of attorney designating who will make their decisions if they become unable to do so. Yet all of us will reach this stage at some point in our lives. Why is there such a resistance to having an "endgame" for our lives?   Recently I watched the film "Farewell" in which an American young woman of Chinese parents struggles with her Chinese family's refusal to discuss her grandmother's serious illness and imminent death. In some cultures it is still taboo to have frank discussions regarding incapacity and death. It was so sad that everyone in the film (based on a "true lie") quietly suffered alone while pretending nothing was wrong with their grandmother.  I kept thinking that it would have been wonderful if the family had been able to discuss the illness and make plans for how to deal with the grandmother's decline and eventual death.  Over and over again we have clients tell us after they have had a frank discussion about their choices for the end of their lives that they feel relieved, comforted, and calm. Contact us today to discuss your "endgame."   

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