I was visiting Columbus, Indiana recently, and as a tourist is prone to do, I stumbled upon a visually stunning monument:
It is the Bartholomew County Veterans’ Memorial – and engraved on each of the pillars are names of those lost in different wars. It is always overwhelming – the significance of the numbers of the men and women from small town America lost, evidenced in the lists and lists of names and ages on every column - but sometimes the names and ages do not fully convey the heart of the matter. This Memorial went a step further. Engraved on some of the pillars were letters that had been sent home. Some showed the excitement of those off to fight the good fight. Some evidenced trepidation about what was going to happen next, or sadness of those missing their families back home. And then I came across this letter:
And it reinforced for me the notion that this is what “estate planning” is really all about. When push came to shove, this young man wanted to make sure that the loan from his grandpa was repaid and his other debts were paid. That was all. For some people, estate planning is complex; for others, it is simple. But ultimately, it is about what is important to that person.
What is important to you?
Anne Thompson can be reached at [email protected]