My interest in longevity was peeked by a friend, a Chartered Surveyor who looked after large Scottish Estates. He shared a completely different way of thinking about life -where ‘family’ was more important than the individual and every member was ‘expected’ to do what they could for the common good. The Chinese express the same idea in the form of a 1000 year plan where you know the goal you are working towards is well beyond your life time.

The absence of estate planning is a major theme in my work at the moment – sorting out ‘the mess’ people leave behind for others to clear up. Do you recognise any of these?

• The ‘next generation’ taking one look and walking away – someone else can sort that out.
• Vultures circulating to profit from the mess – I have heard of one ‘consultant’ who has estimated fee of £30000.00 to sort out probate
• The Tax man insisting on being paid his 40% share before you can start sorting out the mess
• Family feuds that can last for generations
• Uncertainty leading to legal challenges where fees gobble up the whole estate

For anyone who says ‘I must get around to it’ and does nothing – shame on you. I can only assume that you really hate your family so much that you take pride in being able to inflict this final misery – but why?