We live in an age where things move quickly. Smart phones, microwave ovens, text messaging, video chat, the internet, live streaming video, music in two clicks, etc. have all made our lives…well, faster. Today, the normal response to the question “How are you?” is “Busy!”
It used to be that a phone call was returned in a day or two; letters were written and mailed with a response expected in a few days or a week; cooking dinner was a social affair and when our favorite band’s new album was released, it took a week or so for it to show up in the record store. If we wanted to visit with someone face to face, we got on our bikes or in our cars and traveled to meet them. Information flow was slower, but the extra time involved usually gave us a chance to think; to ponder and process feelings, ideas and strategies, conduct research and craft thoughtful solutions to complex problems.
Today, we expect instant responses to hasty and sometimes illogically reasoned requests. We assume that immediate, and 100% correct, advice will be forthcoming in response to deep, multifaceted questions, and that rich, healthy food can be prepared and served in a jiffy. As an aside, in astrophysics and quantum physics a jiffy is the time it takes for light to travel one fermi, which is approximately the size of a nucleon and similar to the diameter of a proton. One fermi is 10−15 m, so a jiffy is about 3 × 10−24 seconds. In short, it’s really fast.
We revere the New York Minute, admire the split-second, worship the heartbeat, and greatly respect the blink (and twinkling) of an eye, and we despise anything that makes us wait for anything more than a nanosecond. We get irritated at delays, annoyed at postponements and reschedules and downright chapped if anything interrupts our precious, “busy” schedule. And then we wonder why things don’t always go as we had hoped.
Here’s an interesting fact – according to Forbes magazine, Chick-fil-A has the slowest drive-thru service in the fast-food industry. It takes nearly 323 seconds—five-plus minutes—from order to pickup. McDonald’s is nearly as bad (284 seconds), followed by Hardee’s (266) and KFC (243). Seriously?! Apparently, waiting more than five minutes to get a meal is a real problem these days!
From purchasing that special birthday gift to planning your vacation to meeting your soulmate, it can all be done from the convenience of the computer we all carry in our pocket. Truly, our addiction to speed has changed the way we communicate and the relationships we develop (or not) with each other.
The world of estate planning is no different. Things change in an instant. New laws, births, deaths, incapacity, financial markets, and changes in relationships and job situations all impact your estate plan. Online companies like Legal Zoom and Rocket Lawyer imply that all of your legal issues can be solved quickly and without competent legal counsel. Fill out this form, send it in and you, your spouse and your children will all be insulated from any legal problems now and forevermore. Who cares about a relationship? As long as we can get the task completed quickly and move on to the next thing on our list, we are making progress.
I recently read that MetLife, one of the leading providers of insurance products in the world, is purchasing Willingly, an online legal form provider whose claim to fame is that you can “create a quality estate plan in as little as 15 minutes from anywhere.” Yikes! I don’t know about you, but my family is worth more than 15 minutes of my time.
Let’s be honest. Nobody wants to think about death or disability all the time; but as things change, your estate planning documents need to change with them to ensure your plan works when you need it to work. What’s changed in the world since we designed your plan? Will your plan work today exactly the way you expected it to work when we designed it? Are you 100% positive?
BE SURE! Call us today to schedule a review meeting. That 60 minute meeting might just be the difference between “perfect” and “what happened here?” It’s not instant. But it is important. And by the way, when a death or disability occurs in your family, we’ll be here to help. You won’t have to call 1-800-DAD-DIED to speak with someone at a help desk in a different country who doesn’t know or care about you or your family. You call us.
Douglas G. Goldberg, Esq.
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