This blog was written by Justin Ecclestone, Associate Estate and Trust Consultant with Scotia Wealth Management
As a member of the Estate Consulting Team at Scotia Wealth Management, I find myself speaking with clients about how to avoid and protect against the worst-case scenarios. Let’s look at a common scenario. A couple hold all assets jointly and plan to provide for children and grandchildren on the death of the second spouse. They do not have Wills and Powers of Attorney in place because it has not been a priority. To help make it a priority, I will ask a question like; “Have you thought about what would happen if you both died suddenly?” or “What if both of you become mentally incapable of managing your property? What happens then?” A plane/helicopter crash is generally an example in which clients will allow themselves to imagine because of how unlikely it seems. For most of us, it is completely unrelatable. That was until January 26th, 2020.
On the morning of January 26th, 2020 near Calabasas, California, NBA Legend, Kobe Bryant, and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, were among nine people who were killed in a helicopter crash. What can only be described as an utter tragedy, this freak accident has been publicized around the world because of the impact that Kobe Bryant and the other victims had on so many lives. This tragedy will forever change how many of us think about a helicopter crash or a plan crash. What seemed unreal to many of us, including myself, now feels very real.
There have been many articles over the past couple days referencing an estimated estate value for Kobe of $500 million. The need to plan for such an event no matter how unlikely it may be, is essential for the surviving members of the family. Since the crash, I have already spoken with a client who has referenced the Kobe Bryant Tragedy as the catalyst for him organizing his affairs. A helicopter crash – most of us have now been affected. Let us take the opportunity to plan for the unlikeliest of events.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the tragedy.