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3 Abraham Lincoln Quotes On Life

 Drawing by D. Van Nostrand, 1865 / public domain

 Drawing by D. Van Nostrand, 1865 / public domain

Abraham Lincoln, Illinois' (first) favorite president, was known for being a wise speaker on many topics, but some of his famous quotes are also applicable as important rules of thumb for anyone thinking about an estate plan. Even though he actually died without any will, imagine what would have happened if he had taken his own advice in this crucial area, and applied some of his wisest sayings to the planning a legacy for his children:

 "You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today."

Many people put off establishing their estate plans, pushing it back year after year, perhaps thinking "there's still plenty of time." But the truth is that estate plans are like life insurance: if you haven't already set it up when the time comes, it can't help anyone. Why keep putting it off until tomorrow...and then tomorrow? There's no time like today.

 "A house divided against itself cannot stand."

Quite a few people haven't given much thought to inheritance disputes among their children, but Lincoln knew firsthand how easily deep-seated, decades-old conflicts could tear apart an otherwise peaceful family. Often these pressures don't even surface until mom or dad are gone, and suddenly a war erupts over a favorite piece of jewelry, a $50 piece of furniture, or some sentimental item that the other child wants to pawn on eBay. A good estate plan can lay out who gets what well in advance and minimize these conflicts before they occur.

 "And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."

This quote is probably the best reason to get an estate plan sooner than later: why worry from time to time that it hasn't been done? Again, like life insurance, the piece of mind that comes with having a plan in place leaves plenty of time to enjoy one's golden years and focus on the values of life that matter the most.