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The Theory Behind Purposeful Planning

Purposeful planning originates (for The Rains Law Firm at least) with John A. Warnick, a living legend among the Denver estate planning community. The Rains Law Firm is a proud and grateful member of the Purposeful Planning Institute, which “John A.” started. I wish to share some of his thoughts on what purposeful planning is:

“Every trust should be an act of love (generosity and enhancement), faith (a generative belief in the beneficiary’s growth potential) and hope (your vision for the opportunities the trust will create and the future well-being and joy of the beneficiaries).

A Trust which speaks in the “first person” resonates much more powerfully with the beneficiaries and can lead to “Tears at the Signing Ceremony” and “Tears at the Reading” experiences for both you and your beneficiaries.

Capturing your voice and vision powerfully transforms estate planning documents from a cookie cutter plan full of legalese and boilerplate into warm expressions of legacy and positive emotions.

Even though your family is usually your primary concern, conventional trusts dehumanize your family members by referring to them as “primary” or “secondary” beneficiaries. A Purposeful Trust™ which refers to your beneficiaries by name and perhaps terms of endearment are much warmer and meaningful to beneficiaries.

Psychological research has demonstrated that a child’s awareness of the positive emotions their parent had at the time of making a gift has a profound influence on the child’s ability to feel deep gratitude for that gift. If your would like to make sure your trust will have a powerfully positive and sustaining influence on their children all you have to do is to suggest some simple exercises in which you can capture powerful expressions of the love and pride they feel for their progeny.

What does capturing your voice and vision do? When a child comes to a rough spot in their life journey, they can turn to your Purposeful Trust™ and find a reservoir of powerfully positive expressions of the parent’s love and confidence in their goodness and capabilities.

These affirming and emotionally rich reflections might include:

  1.  Reflections about the day your child was born
  2. How you chose a child’s name and what it meant to you
  3. Memories of trips or vacations when you created priceless memories as a family
  4. Things you have always admired about them
  5. Special talents or gifts you feel they have been given and the great potential you have seen in you
  6. Really difficult challenges you have seen them overcome and how you felt about their effort
  7. Things they said or did for your which really made you feel special or loved
  8. How you felt when they reached and passed important milestones in their life such as high school or college graduation or their first big job
  9. Favorite quotes or life lessons you think may be important to them or their children in the future
  10. Things they probably never heard you talk about which made life special or were particularly challenging or difficult.”

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