Make your Estate Plan About Values
It’s easy to see, when creating an estate plan, how important it is to protect and pass on your assets; but a good estate planner knows that a will or a trust is not all about assets. In fact, for all of the technical and financial language you may find in your will or living trust, the most important part of the document is if—and how—it reflects your most deeply held values.
You may think that values are something you’re more likely to discuss with your spiritual advisor than your estate planner, but we know you’ve worked hard to give your children a foundation of knowledge, beliefs, and core values to serve them when you’re not there. We want to help you create a thoughtful and comprehensive Estate Plan that will help you continue doing just that.
There are a few ways in which you can use your estate plan to pass on your values:
• Help your kids learn to follow their dreams by earmarking part of the trust principal to be distributed should they want to start their own business or family.
• Teach fiscal responsibility by choosing to have distributions made gradually, helping your children learn how to handle their finances responsibly and with maturity. No trust fund babies here.
• You can impress upon your grandchildren the importance of education by leaving an inheritance to them in an Educational trust.
• Write a personal letter, sharing your core values, your dreams for your family, and any other heart felt sentiments. This can also serve as guidance to your Trustee as to how to provide for your children in the trust for children.
• You can make a video tape where you talk about your life history, your dreams for the future, and your love for your family. www.LifeChronicals.org is a non-profit organization that specializes in doing just that.
With the help of a caring and attentive attorney, like Sean Mason (www.masonlawgroup.com), you can leave a deeper legacy than mere money; you can impart your closely held values for generations to come.