Estate Planning

Planning for Special Circumstances

Planning for the Unexpected

by Rania Combs

I went on a trip last month without knowing where I was going. My husband wanted to plan a surprise vacation for the family to celebrate his 50th birthday, so he kept our itinerary a secret.

The secret itinerary was very unsettling for me because I am a planner. It was difficult to figure out what to pack without knowing where I was going or what activities I would be doing. So I ended up packing more than I would normally pack to prepare for the uncertainty.

I packed some shorts, as well as some jeans. I also packed short-sleeved shirts, long-sleeved shirts, a swimsuit, and a jacket.

Jeans and long-sleeved shirts were perfect for hiking in Banff National Park, and shorts and short-sleeved shirts for walking around Seattle and Portland. I wore my jacket when we went whale-watching in Seattle, and I wore the swimsuit when we went whitewater rafting on the White Salmon River.

I didn’t end up wearing everything I had packed, but I was glad I had prepared for a variety of climates and activities.

Clients sometimes ask why certain provisions are included in their Wills or Trusts when they don’t necessarily apply to their lives presently. The reason is because life is like a surprise vacation, so it’s important to pack, or rather prepare, accordingly.

For example, the provisions in your Will relating to how a trustee should submit a resignation or how a new trustee should be appointed may never be needed, but since the future is uncertain, it’s important to be prepared. And even though your children may be responsible adults, and you want to make an outright distribution to them, if one of them dies and the inheritance passes down to their minor children, you’ll be glad the contingent trust provisions are in there.

Since we don’t have a crystal ball, the additional provisions are precautionary to make sure your wishes are followed and intent is furthered during the surprise vacation called life.

About Rania

Rania graduated magna cum laude from South Texas College of Law Houston and is the founder of Rania Combs Law, PLLC. She has been licensed to practice law since 1994 and enjoys helping clients in Texas and North Carolina create estate plans that give them peace of mind.

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