I’ve got a close friend whose uncle found the risk of flying too great.

His argument was this: we have kids.  We don’t want them being left parentless.  Ironically, Uncle No-Fly had a crappy estate plan, the kind that encouraged familial in-fighting after he died. Although he still traveled by airline, Uncle No-Fly never allowed his wife to travel on the same airplane with him.  When they vacationed together, they took separate flights, meeting up at their destination.

During his entire married, adult life, when wintering in Florida, he would say goodbye to his Honey in Detroit, jump on his separate airplane…and meet up again at the hotel in Ft. Lauderdale.

To each his own, I reckon.

It sounds half-baked to me, especially since he could have easily saved tons of heartache and money just by diverting a little bit of the energy arranging travel to long-term estate planning.

Most of us want to remain alive, and — even so — we are also willing to get on an airplane.  The airlines have worked hard to convince us that air travel is pretty safe. It is…actually.  Most of us trust the statistics. But how safe is it?

In 2013, 265 people died in flight incidents, the safest on record.*

I do not intend to minimize a single one of those deaths.  I’m just saying this: I’d get on an airplane right now, without a thought of the danger of it.

I like the travel, with my family.  I value the shared enjoyment.  But I have created an estate plan that thoroughly addresses my property and protects my kids, no matter what happens to me on my way to Toledo.

Uncle No-Fly’s odds of dying on a flight were: around 1 in 20,000,000.  Ok…worse odds than winning the Powerball.

But the odds of his kids fighting after his death…100%!

Air travel can be dangerous.  But no more dangerous than eating a turkey sandwich, and I’d really prefer to do both with friends and family…if given a choice.

What I’m saying is this: live your life.  Calculate your risks.  Do what you can to live as long as you like, as well as you want.

But do some estate planning now so that you’ve taken care of your kids and your property…in case your airplane falls from the sky…or a turkey sandwich bites you back…or Godzilla stomps you.

If you do not have an estate plan or yours is old, it is time to take care of business.  

Click here or call our office (828-258-2888) to find out how you can qualify for a reduced-cost or no-fee family wealth and child protection planning session, where we can identify the best ways for you to protect and provide for your family.


*Last year deaths went up a bit…to 761, but the worst year of all was 1972, with 2,429 deaths.  Out of roughly 631,939,829 people flying each year (based on 2010 stats)…265 deaths seems statistically minimal.