Family values are not as easy to pass down to future generations as it may be transferring of assets, such as real estate and money in the bank.
However, that’s one of the things that differentiates my firm from others. We try hard to find ways to pass down values. The way we do this may depend on the family and the values to transfer and this may not take the form of a legal document, but this planning goes beyond . . .
The first thing I tell my clients to do is start educating. We must give the example for others to follow but sometimes the example alone is not enough, we must openly and explicitly communicate what we value, how we value things and how we want others to react to our choices and goals. We gather with our client’s family or encourage our clients to have family meetings to discuss their estate plans and why they have planned the way they have and what is expected of each family member. We also encourage a legacy session. This is normally done after the plan is complete and the client has the opportunity to record, either in audio or video, their wishes, their concerns, their advice to children or beneficiaries and their expectations. Imagine, how valuable it can be to a family member to receive the advice of a parent, for example, even years after the parent is no longer alive.
Others will just write down instructions, and those are very valuable too. At the least, we make sure that the legal documents include as much of the purpose and value of our clients as legally possible.
Please Submit your questions here. We will try our best to answer them in our next weekly newsletters.