How to Create an Estate Plan That Reflects Your Own Values

You are going to a lot of effort to create an estate plan. You are thinking about things that are difficult for you to consider and you are making hard decisions. While the process may seem overwhelming at times, it is your opportunity to make sure that your estate plan reflects your unique values and achieves your individual goals.

Six Ways to Make That Happen

As you begin to consider what you want to include in your estate plan, you can be confident that your estate plan will reflect your own values if you:

  • Name a guardian for your children. This should be someone whom you trust to raise your children according to your values.
  • Create specific restrictions in your trust documents. You may, for example, only want your children to inherit money when they are of a certain age unless the money is used for an approved purpose such as education or healthcare.
  • Leave property to a charity of your choice. You can provide for a religious organization, medical research group, or any other charitable organization of your choice.
  • Provide for your life partner or another person who is important to you. If you are not married then your significant other may not be entitled to any portion of your estate unless you specifically provide for that person in your estate plan.
  • Leave a letter of wishes or a video for your loved ones. In this letter or video you can express your love for them, what you want your funeral to be like, and how you want your loved ones to use the property they may inherit from you.
  • Execute an advance medical directive. This will allow you to describe what kind of medical care you would want if you were unable to express your thoughts. For example, you can describe whether you would want to stay on life support and under what circumstances you would want life support to continue. You can also name someone as your health care power of attorney who can make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself.

Together, these things can make sure that your estate plan is as unique as you.

Don’t Settle for a Cookie Cutter Estate Plan

Instead, take the time to make sure that your estate plan reflects who you are and your unique goals. For more information on how to create such an estate plan, please start a live chat with us today.

 

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm