RETIREMENT & ESTATE PLANNING DOMINO THEORY
by Scott F. Barnett, J.D., LL.M., (Taxation)
Who thought Dominoes could help us understand Wills & Trusts? Remember when we were kids? Dominoes was one of my favorite games. Families could play this together. Kids could play it without the parents around. It is an enduring game that is still popular today. And can help us understand why we need Wills, Powers of Attorney and other legal documents.
You can use Dominoes to help your clients understand estate planning. Dominoes parallels estate and financial planning in many ways.
This is the RETIREMENT & ESTATE PLANNING DOMINO THEORY which you can use.
If you complete Estate Planning it is like those amazingly long strings of Dominoes that people set up.
When you push the first Domino,
> it starts the others on a path falling on to each other, often in a complicated way,
> causing different events to happen,
> until that last Domino falls and rings a bell; causes some water to spill;, or, crashes a house made of Dominoes. Rather surprising and fun things happen.
Making sure your own complete Estate Planning is in order sort of works the same way. You may not know the Dominoes are already in place; the way your State Legislature and “Common Law” (the rules created by Courts as “precedent” when deciding cases) set them up. Most people are unaware they are even there.
More important for you to know is this. Usually when that last Domino falls, it will not be where you expected it would land. Worse than that, it is not where you want it to fall. People usually DO NOT want the results that come from NOT setting up the Dominoes how they would rather they fall. We will talk about key areas of planning that need attention in later posts.
NEXT TIME: CELEBRITIES DOMINOES AREN’T SET UP WELL EITHER