Most of us go through life, shaping our own story. We have different experiences and chapters in life. If we look at our lives like a map, there is often a linear pattern showing our trajectory, based on the life we’ve lived. Looking back, we all want to know there was meaning to life, and to know it was all worth it. From the time we attend school, go to college, and get a job or start a business, it feels like we have spent many decades working. During that time, there are other things that occupy our time, like raising a family, pursuing a dream or hobby, or building a business. We want to be known for accomplishing good and meaningful things. Ultimately, we want to leave a legacy.
What will your legacy be?
We can view a legacy in many ways. Focusing on the financial aspect, what assets do you want to leave for your family? What does that mean to them? Would my child choose to buy a flashy red sports car, or will their inheritance provide them with the means to do meaningful things? The money we leave is the treasure left over because we have worked hard. Most of us want our children to have a better future and more opportunities than we had. We don’t work our entire lives to accumulate stuff, only to lose it all, if we get sick or pass away. We have to plan for the curveballs in life to leave a financial legacy. The possibility of having healthcare needs, requires us to take steps to protect our wealth.
As estate planning lawyers, we consider ourselves to be the guardians or co-authors of some of our clients’ most difficult chapters in their lives. The curveballs life throws at us, significantly changes the course of our story. However, we can plan for many of these challenges. If one our children become disabled, or dies before us, our house and money need to be protected if we need long term care. When we plan for such things, we can be remembered for the positive things we did, after we die.
There is More to the Story than the Will
Sadly, most people only think about a Will and how much money they will leave, but there is more to it than that. We must ensure there are conditions applied to how we leave money for our family, when we die. This avoids the situation where money may be spent frivolously or lost, if our child goes through a divorce or lawsuit.
Estate Planning when done well, not only answers the question of who gets your money when you pass away, but how they will get it. A great estate plan is a set of documents coordinated with your financial affairs, beneficiary designations, home and assets, to make sure the financial legacy you are leaving, accommodates life’s curveballs. This plan must contemplate potential disabilities, premature death, divorce and a host of other unforeseen challenges. Many people mistakenly believe a Will is enough. A Will is merely a document – it’s not an Estate plan.
Come to Our Workhops
If you would like to know more about estate planning, please come to one of our workshops. Register here. At our workshops, we discuss estate planning and we explain the purpose of Wills and Trusts. We tell you how to protect assets from long term care costs and how to be savvy about taxes. We hope to see you there!
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