Estate Planning Tip: Leave a Personal Touch

Many people experience a common nostalgic scenario – you’re cleaning out your closet or rummaging through the pile of boxes in your attic and stumble upon family photos. Your mind is inundated with a wave of memories and emotion. For some people, they embrace this moment and take a trip down memory lane.

Your estate plan should incorporate this type of personal touch with a reflection of the life you’ve lived and loved ones you’ve left behind.

Unfortunately, many estate planning attorneys focus solely on the nitty-gritty of estate planning such as making sure you have a valid will, properly established trust, a durable power of attorney, etc. There’s no question these documents are vitally important, but they also carry a level of sterility. They are words on a page.

Your estate plan should have sentiment and feeling, and not just be word processing.

A simple way to incorporate a personal touch is to leave a letter that was actually written by you. The letter can include practically anything you want in it. If you’re someone who avoids mawkishness and gush, you could simply provide a checklist or a set of guidelines to your executor. If you want to include some sentimentality, don’t hold back. Express your love and appreciation to the friends and family members you leave behind. Ensure the letter is easily accessible with your Estate Planning documents so your loved ones find it.

Another great option is more formal legacy planning. At our firm, we offer clients options to preserve and pass on their legacy through recorded messages and video. This is a fantastic way to keep your memory alive so future generations can get a full panorama who you were and the life you lived. The firm recently published an article in a community magazine on Legacy Planning, check it out to learn more.

“When someone dies without telling their story, it’s like a library burning down.” –Mary Lou James