Legacy Planning | Focusing on the transfer of wealth not just valuables

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The traditional tools of an estate planning attorney are legal documents intended to direct courts and beneficiaries how tangible property should be distributed and explain desires relating to medical care and disposition of remains. The focus is on the physical body and property, and due to that focus, the mentality that estate planning is just for the well-to-do is very much alive. But, I would bet that you would be hard-pressed to find anyone that doesn’t have a desire to leave behind a legacy beyond the physical possessions he gives away. So, whether a client has $100 or $100 million, there are some important steps that can take place to help that client create a lasting legacy.

Too often it seems that we focus on “wealth” as being purely physical- something that can be counted and monetized. That focus is misguided. Wealth as a concept is so much broader than most attorneys give it credit for. It encompasses values, knowledge, lessons and life experiences, perspective and hindsight.

Ask anyone what they remember most about a deceased parent or grandparent and the answer will likely be something other than the $500 they left behind. It is going to be about the memories, stories, and experiences that person shared during life. It’s going to be about lessons that were taught or values that were inherited.

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Published In: Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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