Posted by: The Life and Legacy Planning Group
When you hear the phrase “estate plan,” you might first think about paperwork. Or your mind might land on some of the uncomfortable topics that estate planning confronts head-on: end-of-life decisions, incapacity, and your family’s legacy from generation to generation. Those subjects hit home for everyone.
But while that could feel like a reason to avoid estate planning, the emotional nature of these decisions is actually a reason to embrace the process with enthusiasm. Here are a few ways in which emotion in estate planning is a good thing:
1. Estate planning creates stability in times of loss
If you end up in a state of incapacity later in life, it’s guaranteed to be a difficult time for your family. If your estate plan doesn’t include detailed instructions for a trusted decision maker and an actionable long-term care plan, it’s guaranteed to be even worse. You can save your loved ones from the confusion about what to do and the pressure to make rushed choices if this occurs, allowing them to save their energy for processing the situation.
2. Comprehensive estate plans keep emotional matters private
Detailed, trust-based estate planning with lifetime beneficiary-directed trusts keeps your private matters out of the public eye. When your estate plan is scant — such as a simple “I love you” will — you’re running the risk of your estate going through court in a proceeding called probate. This means that choices become visible to those outside your inner circle. Because of the notice requirements, probate can also invite controversy and conflict which a private transfer avoids.
3. Estate planning can bring a family together
Everyone has heard of a situation in which siblings argued over what their parents left them as beneficiaries. But the opposite is also quite true. When you get your family and other loved ones involved in your estate planning process, you gain a wonderful opportunity to show them how much you care. Creating your estate plan can strengthen the bonds of love in a family and serve as a reminder of those bonds for years to come.
4. Your estate is about much more than money
Estate planning is about a whole lot more than just wealth distribution and taxes. During an estate planning session, we can talk about significant family heirlooms, your hard-won hobby collection, and other matters totally unique to your life. We can even look into the memories and intellectual property you want to make sure your beneficiaries receive, such as photos, art, and even recorded videos or audio files of family stories you’d like to share with future generations. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is the legacy you leave. You can only do that by acting proactively and creating a plan during your life. Without a plan, the legacy you leave may be family disharmony, infighting, or even litigation.
5. An estate plan means you’re not going it alone
You shouldn’t have to face trying times alone. Whether the estate in question is yours or a loved one’s, your estate planning attorney will have the answers. Let us take care of the nuts and bolts with regard to educating your appointed agents about their duties so you can know that your family will be in good hands if anything happens to you. The idea of setting everything straight on your own can be a stressful one, but these emotional decisions are much easier for you to make with a trusted advisor by your side than for your surviving family to make after you are gone.
We want you to feel ownership and investment in getting your estate plan to reflect who you are. Estate planning is an opportunity to look at some of life’s big questions and ultimately make sure your family feels your care for them through the choices you make. Give us a call today to see how we can create custom-made solutions that do just that.