Estate Planning anyone?By Randell Tiongson on June 9th, 2010
How many people do you know has applied for Insolvency? I doubt if you’d know much, if any at all. For most of us who earn a simple living and are modest wage earners, we think that having an estate is more of a dream than a reality. We think that our lifetime is too short to catapult our present financial plight into the coveted bracket of lifestyle bliss.
In the Philippines, insolvency is seldom heard. We have grown to become apathetic. We should start to realize that building an estate is not exclusive to the rich and famous, to the executives, to the tycoons of the business world or to the demigods of multinational empires. It is for everyone who has the resolve and prudence of a thinking and financially conscientious man. The philosopher Nietzsche said, “Fight! Do not Work!” This does not mean that we should create a labor union and destroy the capitalist which is what Karl Marx declared in his treatise, the “Manifesto.” This only means that we should create not go along with things that are already created. Build more, and not just remain contented with the idea of what to build or what has been built.
Indifference about insolvency… does this mean that we are good asset managers? Perhaps we are. Even the ordinary man knows that nobody can be sent to jail for not paying debts. But the state of being insolvent is not all about your liability to creditors. It is about your liability to yourself, the potential to amass resources, to achieve prosperity. That does not end there. By no stretch of imagination would you want to see your good and hard-earned resources go down the drain and drag your family along with it.
Perhaps, you were able to manage properly your investments including the fruits of your labor – your properties. You are now prepared to leave this productive live of yours. As that fateful day has arrived, your properties are transmitted to your heirs – your spouse and children. However, can you still guide your children on how to manage or use the properties you transmitted to them? Are you sure your wealth will not be spent in senseless parties, gambling, drinking sprees and incessant shopping? A good life and estate plan would keep you from having to roll inside your grave.
In this country, estate planning has been relegated to the merely inheritance taxes. While estate planning helps you transfer your assets in a cost-efficient manner, it really goes beyond taxes. A good estate plan will help you ensure that what you originally intended for your estate can actually happen even without your physical presence. Further, good estate plans foster family harmony. How many families do you know ended up fighting each other because of their estate? The intentions of the patriarch/matriarch in leaving an estate is help their children and leave a legacy of love – not strife.
Estate planning is a good tool to minimize, if not eliminate uncertainties in the proper distribution of your estate. Estate planning will help you have peace of mind that you will indeed leave a lasting legacy.
“A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.” – Proverbs 13:22