Jeff Fouts: “Jeff Fouts, estate planning attorney here. A lot of people…how can I say this…live with rose-colored glasses on about their circumstances and they’re very optimistic. That’s a very good thing. There’s nothing at all wrong with being optimistic that nothing bad will ever happen.
Unfortunately, I live in the real world, where bad things actually happen. There’s a saying that I heard one time, and that is, ‘Low probability events happen all the time.’ That’s quite a statement.
Even if you have the perfect family, even if you have the perfect spouse, the perfect husband, the perfect wife, the perfect children, even if you live in the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood, and you’ve got the perfect retirement plan – there’s bad news, I’m sorry to have to tell you, is that you cannot control everything around you.
You cannot control the multitude of things that could affect you, your spouse, your children, and your grandchildren down the road. I want to talk about those just briefly. I am not trying to be a fear monger or a dramatist, but I do live in the real world.
The courthouses are open every day to people that want to file lawsuits. Those people are looking for people who have deep pockets. They are targeting people that have a couple of hundred thousand dollars laying around, or a million or two, and you’re the type of person they’re actually looking for. Some of these lawsuits may be frivolous, and some of them may not be frivolous.
It’s like a client I have. He may very well live in your exact neighborhood. He was driving around town, and he had an auto accident. He didn’t think he was going to have an auto accident, but he did. What happened is that he hurt some people, and he hurt them pretty bad, it seems to me, based on what I know.
He came to me after he had the accident, prior to hiring me. He said, ‘Jeff, the insurance company of the people I hurt is coming after me, and it looks like I’m going to pay half a million dollars over and above my insurance.’
I’ll ask you a very straightforward question. How many of you would think it would be a good day if all you had to do was write a check for $500,000? Would that be considered a good day or a bad day for you? This is serious. If you hurt people it will cost a lot of money.
The most dangerous thing you can do is drive your car. Have you ever known many older people that voluntarily gave up their car keys? Not many. The most dangerous thing you do is get out there on a highway and drive. Every day you’re basically endangering your estate. It’s pretty serious.
These are things that people need to think about. Jeff Fouts, estate planning attorney. Thank you.”
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