A Story With An Estate Planning Twist
Do you remember back when you were a child and Mom or Dad would read you a bedtime story? As you were tucked into bed, all sorts of characters and creatures would float through your imagination. Often, these stories held an important lesson or message for kids. However, there are lessons for adults in these stories as well. In today’s episode of “Estate Planning by the Book”, we will examine the story of Jack and the Beanstalk.c
Classic folk tales often end with the conclusion “They lived happily ever after.” That should be the same result for a properly prepared family estate plan.
A Young Man And Some Magical Beans
Jack is a young man living with his widowed mother on a small farm outside of a village. They have a cow, which they depend upon for its milk. One day however, the cow stops giving milk. Saddened by this, the mother tells Jack to take it into the village and sell it at the market.
While Jack is leading the cow into town, he is approached by an unusual old man. The old man offers Jack some magical beans in exchange for the cow. Excitedly, Jack accepts and hurries home to tell his mother.
Unfortunately, his mother is less than enthusiastic about the beans. After all, the cow was their only source of income and now they have nothing but beans for it. Angrily she throws the beans outside the window and sends Jack to bed.
A New Land Full Of Surprises
During the night, the magical beans grow into a giant beanstalk which rises up into the clouds. When Jack awakes early the next morning, he is astonished by this and begins climbing the beanstalk. At the top of the beanstalk is a land in the sky, with a large house at the end of a road. The house is occupied by an ogre and his wife, who have amassed a large amount of riches.
While the ogre is out, Jack burglarizes the house and is aided by the ogre’s wife. Over the next few days, Jack steals gold coins, a golden egg laying hen, and a magical harp which plays music on its own. The story concludes with Jack killing the ogre as he is being chased down the beanstalk.
The story of Jack and the Beanstalk is a wild tale and very far-fetched. However, it highlights the importance of providing for a family even after one has passed away.
In The Real World
Let’s take another look at the story from an estate planning perspective.
What if Jack’s father had taken the time to buy an annuity and prepare an estate plan before he passed away? In this new scenario, Jack and his mother would have received money, perhaps every month, to buy food and necessities. This would also have prevented the family from depending on one cow as the sole source of income.
In this way, Jack would never have been tempted to trade the cow for magical beans and he would not have turned to burglary and even murder to provide for himself and his mother.
Planning an estate is an important step that everyone should take. A solid estate plan can protect your loved ones for years after you have passed away. What’s more, a well-constructed estate plan provides a lasting legacy in your name.
An Attorney You Can Trust
Bill Peterson is a Minnesota Estate Planning Attorney with over 40 years of experience as a lawyer. He can help you plan for the future by creating a Minnesota Estate Plan. For more information, please visit http://www.mnestateplan.com or call toll free at 952-641-7312.
The contents of this article are for information only and is not to be interpreted as legal advice. For personal legal advice you should consult with an attorney who is experienced in probate law or estate planning.