When I was young my grandparents built a successful farm. They owned 5+ quarters of land and a beautiful herd of Hereford cattle. They built this while raising 11 children. Business was always handled by the husband. Grandma wasn’t involved in the process. However, Grandma always wanted to be sure what they built would be preserved for their needs and then pass on to their 11 children.
My grandfather did a bare-bones estate plan naming just one of their 11 children as executor and agent for power of attorney…BIG MISTAKE! When Grandpa died that son “borrowed” about $1 million to fund his personal investment. The investment failed reducing my grandparents assets by 50%. Fortunately my grandmother was able to live on the remaining assets however when she died there was little left for her children. Brothers and sisters sued the managing son to recover the assets. This resulted in a lifelong feud and legal costs. All of which could have been avoided with proper planning and counseling.
LESSON: Had my grandmother become educated in handling assets and coached on how to pass her property smoothly to her children the loss and feuds could have been avoided. The security my grandmother and my grandfather worked a lifetime for was lost in one irresponsible act. This created tremendous conflict in the family both legally and personally – conflict that continued to the death of the managing son.
I don’t ever want any woman coming through our front doors to experience a loss of property, security and family harmony like my grandmother did. Women need to feel confident their assets will be there for them for the rest of their lives and their greatest desire is for harmony and love in the family. This can only be done through a knowledgeable trusted advisor team, and a strong Voice of the Woman.