Many clients come into the office concerned more about the delay, costs and publicity of Probate Court, or potential tax issues. But as they start to open up about their real concerns about leaving inheritance, the concerns are about what if they become mentally disabled? What if their spouse remarries – will their assets go to their loved ones, not their replacement’s loved ones? Will their Adult Children squander their inheritance? Will they lose it in a divorce? Will they lose it in a lawsuit?
The biggest concern for clients is often making sure that any assets that they pass on are going to improve the lives of their loved ones, not cripple them. They want to make sure that the money they worked so hard to accumulate will not be squandered or frittered away. They worry whether their beliefs will move down to their children.
Lee Brower’s book “The Brower Quadrant” asks you to prioritize the things you are most concerned about in transferring assets to your family: 1) Your beliefs and values; 2) Your experience (physical, emotional, spiritual); 3) Your contributions to people and society (charities); or 4) your money? If you rank money last, then you should be speaking with your Estate Planning Attorney, financial and other advisors about how to make the money you leave best support what you want to pass on. Is it more important to give a man a fish or teach him how to fish?
There are different ways to encourage your loved ones to do good things, such as charitable work. You also can mentor and provide insight to your loved ones while you are alive and able to do so. It may be important for you to teach them your core values, your faith and how to make a living or how to operate the family business.
These are some of the issues to consider when you think about Estate Planning.
At the Law Firm of Steven Andrew Jackson, Attorney and Counsellor at Law, we have helped hundreds of families protect themselves and their loved ones, avoid Estate Taxes and Probate Costs, and keep their Estate Plans current with the law through The Customized Protective Estate Planning Solution™.