A Comic Strip Looks at Estate Planning

Articles and lectures inform us while stories speak to us in a way that these more straightforward sources cannot. It is interesting to see financial planning in pop culture because a narrative can get some  people to think and take action when a seminar may not.

Between July 27 and August 1 of this year the Big Nate comic strip by  Lincoln Peirce spent a week looking at estate planning, in comic form. The older daughter read an advice column where she sees that people write in with disputes over their parents’ estates weekly. So, she and her younger brother decide that they will get ahead of the game by divvying up their father’s belongings themselves. They felt they were being “proactive.” In a sense they were, although their father wasn’t cheered to learn they were planning for his death and thought he could “go at any time.”

After sighing a little, the father told his children that while it was good of them to think ahead, he had already  made provision for them in his will. Not only that, he also told them that he updates his will “every couple of years.”  

This is a key point because as much as people may hesitate to create a will, once they do, some never return to update that will. There are so many things that can change after a will is created so it is important to update your will. Even when you create one, your heirs may still end up writing into an advice column with their disputes if you did not update it to reflect life events and changes to your financial situation.

Next, Nate asks a very important question: he wants to know who will raise them if their father dies and they are still underage. All along the comic throws in a few laughs while broaching this important topic. So, when the father tells his children that their uncle would raise them, they are alarmed because their uncle isn’t the most responsible person they know. The father tells them that the grandfather (his father) is too advanced in age to raise them. The story arc ends with the children taking extra good care of their father because they are not thrilled with the idea of being raised by Uncle Ted.

©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. A Comic Strip Looks at Estate Planning is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™

About the author

Claire Emory, MBA, CFA, CFP®

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