The Blatt Watch by Peter Blatt: What can Geocaching, Boy Scouting, and Being a Proud Parent or Grandparent teach you about Estate Planning?

On Sunday, my 10-year old son David, and my wife Gina and I went Geocaching with David’s Cub Scout troop at  John D. MacArthur Beach State Park on Singer Island. It was our first time Geocaching.

Geocaching is a modern version of a scavenger hunt using a smart phone. By definitiion, geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.

Wills and Trusts are drafted primarily to avoid probate and protect the next generation from liability (both lawsuit protection and divorce protection). The average probate here in Florida cost 3% of your assets (for a million dollar estate at least $30,000). That cost can be readily avoided. The average probate in South Florida takes anywhere from 9 months to two years before family members can receive your assets.

The path to find a geocache is very hard. The smart phone GPS works with satellites, and seems amazingly easy to use. However, once you start walking, you walk under trees, which block the satellite signal. You start to get lost, and you end up walking off the path. After speaking to another group leader, I was told he led his group in a big circle for over an hour without finding a single geocache. My group seemed to be on the right path, with the smart phone GPS stating that we were a tantalizing 420 feet from our prize. Then the vines, sharp thorns and foliage blocked us.

My son David and other Boy Scouts Geocaching.

My son David and other Boy Scouts Geocaching.

After walking around for a few minutes in the woods, becoming frustrated, I said ‘let’s consult an expert.’ I reviewed the expert column on the smart phone application and determined we were on the opposite side of the trail. We backtracked, went the right way and discovered the geocache! We even found a second Geo. It has some amazing toys inside—including a wooden doll that bows when you push its bottom.

Imagine you are in the woods, going around in circles. Not knowing when you will reach the end. However, you know what you are doing is important. In the case of estate planning—a proper Last Will and Testament appointing a Personal Representative and waiving the high priced bond in Florida; and a proper Living Trust to avoid probate, pass on your assets where you want them to go and protect the next generation—is very important.

The only reason we are not still wandering in those woods is because we asked an expert.

Ask an Estate Planner. My law firm, Blatt Legal, PLC, provides estate planning services—I draft custom Wills, Trusts, Durable Power of Attorney’s, Living Wills and other document. Come in for a complimentary review.

My son David proudly holds up his Cub Scout Merit Badge certificate.

My son David proudly holds up his Cub Scout Merit Badge certificate.


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Peter Blatt

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