Estate planning, step 1: Hire a babysitter Featured

9:57am EDT July 22, 2002

Imagine the scene. You’re sitting in a bagel shop, sipping coffee and reading the paper, when from out of the corner of your eye you notice an unusual foursome: a couple with their young toddler and a well-dressed young professional.

You don’t mean to overhear their conversation, but it’s clear that the 30ish young man is an attorney, explaining various ins and outs of estate planning to the couple, who apparently own a tire shop.

“So what we want to do is minimize the estate tax ...” he’s saying. Only he keeps getting interrupted by piercing yelps from the high chair-bound “Josh,” who’s perhaps two years old. “I have a four year old, so I certainly understand the phase,” the young attorney says, trying to get back to business. Only Josh screams some more. Pained smiles all around. Eventually, we feel duty-bound to evacuate, hoping that some well-targeted babysitting might perhaps allow this couple to complete the task sometime before they retire.