This is part of an ongoing series of articles about estate planning & succession planning, written by Joe Maier, JD, CPA, Senior Vice President, Director of Wealth Strategy
What is an estate plan?
For some, it is a collection of documents that answers a distribution question: Who do I want to get what and when? For others, it is a plan of authority: Who will make the decisions for me and those I care about when I cannot? Those assumptions are not wrong, but they may be incomplete.
A great estate plan should tell your story; the story you want told if you’re not around to tell it. Your story communicates who you care about, what you care about and what you believe. It is unique to you.
How do beliefs translate into an estate plan? If you believe people are happiest when they accomplish great things for themselves, your wealth could be used to encourage accomplishment. That may mean incenting hard work or meaningful social impact. If you believe happiness comes from helping those less fortunate, the plan could incent loved ones to engage in philanthropy or volunteerism. If you want to help the people you care about, the plan could be designed to remove economic burdens like retirement savings, education savings or major purchases. And if you believe in memorable experiences, the plan can allow for extraordinary family vacations. Like your story, your estate plan is unique to you.
What do you believe and who do you care about? Does your estate plan tell that story? Do you have the right plan? Do you have the right team?
We would love to hear your story. Connect with an advisor today.
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