It's all bad news
Having travelled back to Australia for Christmas and to spend time in our different Australian offices, I have been absorbing myself in everything that I did when I lived here full-time.
First stop was Melbourne. Skinny flat white and croissant from a cafe on Commercial Road for breakfast before work, prawn dumpling soup from Rice for lunch and dinner at Fog Restaurant - the food is delicious and there really is nothing quite like it.
With breakfast, I like to read the papers and I enjoy nothing more than walking into my local newsagency to pick them up. As I read through page by page, I am dumbfounded as to how much bad news there is out there. When I travel, I tend to only read business newspapers and usually online because that is the most convenient. But golly gosh, does it all have to be doom and gloom?
My second stop was Sydney, my favourite city in the world because I believe that there is nothing more beautiful than the harbour that I fortunately get to look out on all day long. I go to the office in Kent Street, Sydney, each day and I really enjoy the great weather and hustle and bustle of a big city.
On Thursday, I met with Family Future Managing Partner Rolf Howard to discuss Estate Planning. I am travelling a lot and there is many things that have changed about my life and finances. My biggest issue I face that in the event if I die young, my dog has to live with someone who loves and adores her as much as I do - which is impossible, but near enough is good enough. She has travelled to the US with me so that while I travel continuously, she can travel with me on the plane, in the cabin. It's very exciting and I know I will be travelling for some time to come, so it makes perfect sense for her to do so.
As Pip goes through life, she has become attached to many of my friends, and now she lives in the US, she is very attached to #24yrold. This has led me to think about my Will from some years ago, where she was going to go to a friend in Melbourne who she now rarely sees. I couldn't do that to her, so I have to think about what would be best for her should I get hit by a bus.
Apparently my "crazy dog lady" antics is not that abnormal. People are now planning for their animals in the event of a death, not too dissimilar to planning for children.
40% of Australians who die each year, do so without adequate planning. I don't want to do that.
Rolf Howard and his team at Family Future are experts at planning estates for young people who have a dependent whether its a child or dog. They understand that I am young and things will change over time, however, they assure me that the Estate Planning I do now will last my lifetime, so its not a bad investment of $3,000. I now never have to worry about it again.
So, what are the 3 things that were most important to me?
1. Pip had a new "Mother" that loves and adores her and who will treat her the way I do, with organic rib filet bought from Wholefoods, long walks in the park, trips to the beach and comfortable travel arrangements.
2. Pip does not stay home alone during the day, but goes to work with the person she is staying with. She has never stayed home in her 9 years as my dog, so I am not about to start now. This person has to be flexible enough to be able to keep her by their side or hire a doggie-sitter should they need to.
3. Pip is not a burden financially. I am an avid believer that she is my responsibility, so I have catered for her for an entire lifetime. That means all of her food, carers expenses, doggie day care, grooming, vet bills and any out of pocket or inconvenience that this new arrangement may cause. I also don't want her to be going to the "cheaper" groomer or the "cheaper" doggie day care. She is like my child, so the best of everything is important.
This process is simple and more people should think about doing it sooner. The what ifs won't be taken care of if you don't plan for it. You are never too young to get a Will, and having a professional lawyer do it like Family Future's Rolf Howard, will ensure that every "T" is crossed and "I" dotted.