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EmotionalWhen you hear about an estate plan, you probably think first about papers and documents.  Or, you may think about your death or incapacity.  If so, you are not alone.  These are concerns that everyone has.

Many people also think that emotional motivations or considerations are bad when creating an estate plan.  But rather, recognizing powerful emotions and addressing them proactively can help emotions be positive and constructive, rather than destructive.  Read on to see what I mean.

1. Estate planning creates stability in times of loss

At some point, your family will feel loss.  It may happen after you get Alzheimer’s or after you die, but they will pass through a difficult time because of you.  By creating a comprehensive and effective estate plan, you can help create a safe and positive space that offers solace, stability, and clarity.  It gives your family members one less thing to worry about during a worrying and stressful time.

2. Comprehensive estate plans keep emotional matters private

Your estate plan can keep your private details exactly that: private.  If you use a trust, your estate plan and your property will not become public knowledge.  It also protects against hurt feelings and drama arising from you treating your loved ones differently.  All this goes away with a will or no plan at all.

3. Estate planning can bring a family together

Having a quality estate plan that is fair and loving can actually help strengthen family bonds after you pass away, not tear them apart.  By helping express value and concern, your estate plan can help everyone feel loved, which can make your family stronger.

4. Your estate is about much more than money

Yes, you are passing on your property, but that is not what estate planning is really about.  It is about what is important to you, whether it be family heirlooms, photos, or even family stories or values that you want to find a way to pass on.  In effect, your estate plan addresses emotional legacies as well as monetary.

5. An estate plan means you’re not going it alone

If you have an estate plan, that means you have an attorney in your corner as a resource.  Your estate planning attorney can help you identify problem points, work you through the nuts and bolts, address emotional concerns, and help your plan work exactly how you want it to.  This will help your family draw closer together in times of need and put everything into place.  You are not alone.

Estate planning is an opportunity to express what is most important to you and pass on your “emotional” aspects like worldview, values, and morals.  Your impact can extend years and decades after you are gone, and a comprehensive estate plan can protect and provide for your family in so many ways.