When making your estate plan, you want to be sure it is comprehensive and legally enforceable. But does it also accurately reflect your values and beliefs? Following are some tips for ensuring it does.
Think beyond logistics
The details of your estate plan—everything from listing what your assets are, to appointing someone to distribute them to your heirs and beneficiaries—are undoubtedly the essential parts of every estate plan.
However, if you also want the documents to reflect your character and morals, consider elements beyond the logistics of distributing your property. For instance, the decisions you make in your estate plan should align with your philanthropic spirit, dedication to your children’s academic future, your religious beliefs, and/or your cultural background.
Be clear and direct with individualization
Wills and other planning documents often use a lot of legalese; some are even templates. These may not say much about your unique perspectives and principles.
As such, individualizing an estate plan is an attractive option for people with specific wishes about how they want to be remembered.
When adding personal elements or statements to your plan, it is helpful to be clear and direct so as to avoid any confusion or misinterpretation, including your explanations for why you are making your decisions.
Consider asking for feedback
The decisions you make in your estate plan are yours to make, but they will affect others. Thus, getting feedback on your choices can be helpful.
- An attorney can help you put the appropriate estate planning documentation in place to reduce the chance of a court setting it aside.
- Your loved ones can help you understand the impact certain decisions may have on them.
- Religious or cultural advisors can guide you through ceremonial or spiritual elements.
Seeking feedback from others can give you valuable insight and information that you can use to make planning decisions and shape your legacy.
Your estate plan should address that which is most important to you. Whether that involves financial security for your beneficiaries, or minimizing the burden of your passing, these tips can help you address your goals and concerns.