Planning for our eventual departure from this life is not something we wake up enthusiastic about. Sorting out the Will of a loved one as an executor is a difficult journey. And dealing with the affairs of your father who passed without making a Will is traumatic and painful experience. This is what I experienced a few years ago when my father died without a Will.
Two years later a close family member and a mentor died. His widow was helpless in sorting out the Will and a huge estate, having been quoted a large sum of money to carry out probate work. The pain and anguish caused in dealing with the estate was plain for all to see.
In between these years, a couple of our clients passed away and their family members had to endure additional misery in bereavement dealing with different professionals, unexpected fees and contentious probate misery that went on for over 3 years. This decreased the value of the estate day by day.
All these events caused me to think deeper into these issues and to reflect on the various problems and family crisis that ensue upon death of a loved one. As a chartered accountant and tax adviser, I knew I could help. But only to an extent.
It re-occurred to me that it is a harsh reality. But dealing with a person’s estate is not a question of IF. It is a question of WHEN.
As a professional advisers, we get to know more about our clients and we do have a responsibility to ensure that our clients are prepared for this event.
But in most cases, both advisers and clients wait….and wait…and wait until the inevitable happens. Causing so much anguish and family crisis. Just as I witnessed in the above events.
In my father’s case, it was a case of two weeks too late because I was in the process of arranging for a Will Writer to visit him to document his final act of love. I must admit that I did procrastinate and none of us wanted to think about the demise of my Dad.
Yes, estate planning and succession law issues can be complex and uncomfortable to talk about.
No More Excuses
So when the legal services board opened up the probate market, I had no more excuses for not delivering this holistic service for my clients and family members, however uncomfortable it may be for me or my clients. However much I wanted to procrastinate further.
Because ultimately I do get involved at some point (advising on inheritance tax, preparing estate accounts, carrying out business valuations and reviewing the Wills) when the event happens.
I could no longer sit on the fence and watch. So I went to get accredited and to add the additional skills I needed to help. And that is how My Estate Planner Ltd came about.
The firm is an accredited estate planning and probate specialists.
Through the firm, it is my wish to raise greater awareness of these thorny issues and to help all concerned to reflect, take action and avoid totally unnecessary pain and suffering.
Jonathan Amponsah FCCA CTA