“NOTHING TO FEAR BUT FEAR ITSELF”
This statement was used in 1933 by Franklin D. Roosevelt in his inaugural speech. He defined fear as “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
In our business, we see fear sometimes become an impediment to enjoying life.
Fear of giving up control over assets is also common. Some individuals worked and saved throughout their lives, and worry that heirs or attorneys will spend it frivolously. As trust and estate professionals, we strive to assure them that estate planning does not mean giving up control. The use of trusts – whether living or testamentary – allows the grantor to retain control even beyond the grave, if that is what is desired.
Others fear death, so they put off doing estate planning and planning for that inevitable event. This can become a significant burden to their families. As Melissa Taylor discussed recently, planning for the unknown is crucial if you have children at home. But what if we looked at estate planning as life planning, not death planning? Estate planning should just be another step in the process of budgeting, retirement planning, college savings planning and insurance planning.
As we see currently, fear of the coronavirus has gripped the world. Stores are sold out of masks, toilet paper, flu medicines, and supplies that many anticipate might be needed. These fears have also impacted the economy and the stock market, causing stocks to plunge very rapidly. The stock market tends to be sensitive to every tidbit of bad news.
However, history tells us that this too will pass. We should not let fear cloud fundamentals.
I noticed a Facebook post last week that was particularly touching. A mother caught one of her eight-year-old twin boys reading to his brother because he was fearful. These boys are generally rambunctious and spirited, and yet one took time to comfort his brother’s fears.
A big part of our mission at TCO is to comfort our clients. Please call us. We are here to listen, to counsel, and to guide.