“Your kids don’t need a fairy godmother, they don’t need a prince to save the day, they need you to put together an estate plan to protect them” says Pamela Maass Garrett, author of Legally Ever After.

If a child does go through their own real-life Cinderella scenario, with a parent passing away unexpectedly without a legal plan in place, assets meant for them may become tied up in legal confusion, and they may end up living with people that would not have been who their parents would have chosen for them.

Despite the importance of getting it right, parents tend to put off estate planning for a number of reasons. Some find it very difficult to talk about, particularly if they are a member of a culture or generation where things like money can be seen as taboo subjects. Others have the idea that the planning process is all about death, a subject they can not bring themselves to focus on.

Every family handles it differently, but there are some interesting similarities in each generation. The Millennial generation, now 42 on the top end of their age bracket, seem to be ready to get this done more readily. Perhaps it is because many are now a member of the ‘sandwich generation’, meaning they have their own kids in the house, but also their parents have moved back in too. Or perhaps as the group set to inherit more wealth than any generation previously, and who can see that their own parents haven’t done a good job of preparing themselves, they understand the importance of a solid plan.  

Pamela’s book, Legally Ever After, helps families understand how to protect their assets and their childrens’ futures in a clear and simple way. This easy to understand guide consists of six steps, each of which is named for one letter in the acronym L.E.G.A.C.Y.

Starting with “L,” Pamela starts with the very important step of defining “Longterm Guardians,” and urges readers to name the people they’d want to care for their children, should something happen to them. 

There is so much to take from our Achievers discussion with Pamela, including learning the easiest first step to setting up a plan, the best way for blended families to navigate estate planning, and how often you should check in with your estate lawyer.

Legally Ever After will literally change lives for the better, and be an essential guide for anyone that hasn’t yet put a plan in place. A must read for every family.

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Episode Quotes

  • “Really, estate planning is for everyone. If you’re alive, you need some kind of plan of what would happen.” (2:14-2:20 | Pamela)
  • “Estate planning is one of those things that people tend to put off until it’s too late. And when I hear from clients, it’s usually because someone they know passed away unexpectedly.” (3:19-3:29 | Pamela)
  • “If something were to happen to you, do your loved ones know what you have and where it is?” (3:42-3:45 | Pamela) 
  • “When it comes to legacy, putting plans in place, and planning for death, the Millennial generation are putting plans in place at an unprecedented rate because they really do care about it.” (5:15-5:26 | Pamela)

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