Are You Wondering About the Soft Side of Estate Planning?
"The Greatest Irony in Family Estate Planning"
I always find the greatest irony in family estate planning is that people tend to think more about financial assets and give little thought to the personal side of preparing heirs. Some clients just want to be “done with it” and not look at estate planning again. Looking through plans, I see they represent a lot of time and legal work. What’s often missing is the story behind it all. How did the family get to this point? What is the backstory of their pain, failures, victories and joys?
Often it’s only about the money. People don’t share their values, goals, future vision, or story.
In our practice, we not only invest assets, but also invest in preparing families for true legacy. Since money often divides more than unites, each of us leaves much to chance by not addressing the personal and social dimensions of our wealth.
Generally speaking, financial capital is easy to transfer.
It is transactional, and any competent professional can structure the transaction. But preparing heirs is a relational process that takes time and thought. Rushing to complete papers and making hasty decisions is not building your legacy.
Families often benefit from a neutral facilitator to help them navigate the soft side of estate planning. Many who achieve substantial wealth are hard-driving, get-it-done types of people who need help to keep the legacy conversation productive and meaningful.
One of the best tools I’ve found to bring families together is charitable giving. Everyone can participate in giving which prompts sharing of conversation and values. It can take many forms from donor advised funds to foundations, or simply volunteering together.
So, today, think about how you can invest in the soft side of estate planning and your legacy. Not just money, but your lifeprints – values, vision, and unique story too. It takes time and effort, but it may well be your greatest achievement.
Greg Hammond helps people look at how their estate planning can reflect something beyond just a financial transfer of assets. Get your financial MRI and Wealth Impact Assessment so you can LIVE MORE and GIVE MORE. Call (800) 416-1655 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today.