How Your Estate Plan Can Be a Reflection of Your Values

18 Jul

How Your Estate Plan Can Be a Reflection of Your Values

There is a common misconception about the purpose of estate planning. Many people mistakenly believe that an estate plan is intended to simply transfer Asset A to Person X; a dry, legal document focused solely on stocks, bonds, property, etc. This is not accurate.

An estate plan is a symbol of love and concern for the people you care about the most. It is a representation of your desire to protect your family and loved ones. An estate plan, in many ways, can be a reflection of your values.

A prime example of this principle is the estate of celebrity Anthony Bourdain. His Last Will and Testament was probated in New York and many media outlets were aghast to learn that Bourdain’s will was “only” worth around $1.2 million. Some people went so far as to criticize Bourdain for not having a higher net worth; never mind the fact that an estate valued at more than $1 million put Bourdain in the top 3 percent of all Americans in terms of wealth, according to a great Wall Street Journal article.

People ignored the fact that Bourdain took steps to protect the people he cared about the most. For example, Bourdain’s will took steps to ensure his only child received the bulk of his estate. He also stipulated that his frequent flyer miles should be transferred to his estranged wife and she could utilize them “in accordance to what she believes to be his wishes.”  Bourdain’s final message, as articulated through his estate plan, was not stocks and bonds, but about continuing to grow and maintain your curiosity throughout life. Bourdain also stressed taking care of the ones you love most.

Steps You Can Take to Create a Detailed Estate Plan that Reflects Your Values and Protects Your Loved Ones

Bourdain left a Last Will and Testament to detail how he wanted his assets distributed, which is perfectly fine. However, there are an array of estate planning techniques and strategies you can utilize to protect your protect your loved ones and reflect your values.  For example, you could establish a revocable living trust rather than simply leaving a will. Living trusts are great because they enable you to pass your assets to your loved ones without having to deal with the hassles associated with probate. Furthermore, you can alter a revocable living trust however you wish while you are alive. That means you can add funds, take out funds, add or remove beneficiaries, and so forth.

Speak to an Estate Planning Lawyer Today

If you are interested in creating an estate plan, take action now and contact InSight Law. Our team of legal professionals are ready to help you create the best plan possible for your family.