We enter this world as a blank slate, but we leave it full of experiences had, lessons learned, and wisdom gained. Many people view an estate plan as passing on their physical assets. However, this is only part. You can also share something potentially more valuable: your wisdom and lessons. You can help your loved ones build off your successes and learn from your mistakes. Read on about several ways to share these lessons.
Living and Other Trusts
You may already know that a trust avoids probate. But a trust can also allow you to carry on your parenting style and raise your children in death as you did in life. For example, you can attach incentives or life goals to distributions from the trust, thus helping your children make worthwhile goals and develop attributes that you desire. You are sharing what matters to you, and you are doing what you can to help your child care about that same thing. If you combine a trust with a video or letter explaining why you did what you did, you are expressing love, concern, and trust in a way that they will be able to look on later and appreciate your desires and wisdom.
Video Wills and Letters
Video wills and letters are not binding legal documents, but you can use them to explain what is in the will or trust. You can explain why you did what you did, what value a certain kind of property has to you, and what you hope your loved one does with it.
Of course, you can also simply make a video or write a letter, disconnected from your will. This can just be you talking about memories or cherished events or people. In many ways, this may prove of more worth than an property. You are helping make sure that your memory is meaningful and ever-present.
The Old-Fashioned Way
Journals, scrapbooking, photos, and other similar things can be part of what you pass on. You may even work with a professional to make digital versions of everything. This way your children and grandchildren will always have insights into your life and events that mattered to you.
Many of us have charitable efforts that we care deeply about. Incorporating charitable giving into your estate plan is an excellent way to make a final statement of what mattered to you and help a cause that you care about. Even if your loved ones do not donate to the same charity, you are setting an example that they may choose to follow during their own lives.
Business Succession Planning
If you own your own company, business succession planning is just as essential for your business as estate planning is essential for you. It can make a significant difference in your company’s finances, and possibly your family’s as well. You can also think about videoing or writing down a message or statement as a form of living legacy to guide your business into the future.
Leave a History
If you are passing on a personal item with a unique story, write it down so it can be shared with your loved one receiving it. Knowing the history of an item increases its value to that person, who will cherish it more.
Final Thoughts on Sharing Your Wisdom
There are many ways to share your memories and values, but the ultimate goal is to prevent avoidable hassles and fights. Contact The Rains Law Firm or schedule a complimentary initial meeting to discuss how to implement these strategies into your estate plan.