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Do Only the Rich Have Estates?

Hi Harry,

Thanks – you’re the second lawyer who’s asked me that. It’s difficult to find something that’s as concise as “Estate Planning”; just as it’s hard for people to understand terms like “Risk Management”, “Retirement”, and “Financial Planning”. I think all these terms are a bit bewildering (even though we know what they mean, we don’t know how they affect us.) Moreover, I don’t think our clients/prospects think of their lives in these terms. I have very few clients under 50 who think about “Retirement”, but they do think about being financially independent or having the option to work (if they choose.)

Instead of me saying to a client, “Have you done any estate planning?” I could say, “Have you thought about how we can ensure that everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve will be passed along the way that you want?” Clumsy, I know, but perhaps more relatable? Certainly, more conversational, but that wasn’t the point. Clearly, I am avoiding your question and don’t have a better option yet to replace “Estate”, but I want to explore other ways of thinking and talking about the issue with clients.

I just sat through a full day seminar about communication for wealth managers, and the point driven home wasn’t what we as professionals say, it’s what the clients hear that matters.

By the way, how was your trip? Did you see the wildfires in CO?


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