Most of us spend a lot of time planning how to pay for a college education for our children, weddings, that car we always wanted and retirement. We all spend a significant amount of time planning for the long awaited vacation that will last only a few days of our lives. Some even have given thought to long term care planning. So, while planning for the BIG things and keeping our house in order, have you stopped to think about the steps to ensure that your legacy will be carried out?
Strohschein Law Group provides a comprehensive package of Estate Planning documents that may include Legacy Planning too. Sometimes we need to take baby steps to complete this package, and that’s okay! We are here to support and guide you through the steps you are ready to tackle until you feel you’ve protected everything that matters.
The Estate Planning involves creating a Will and learning about the types of Trusts that best suit your wishes for you and your beneficiaries. A Will is a set of instructions that will be carried out only after your death to distribute your assets, identify your Executor and name Guardian’s for minor or disabled children. A Will does not avoid probate. The primary reasons for creating a Trust is to 1) provide a means for continuity of ownership and management of your assets during your lifetime, disability and death, 2) avoid probate, and 3) ensure privacy during life and after death. You will be asked to consider real estate, life insurance, retirement accounts, investment accounts, and cash assets during this part of the progression. You will also prepare Powers of Attorney for which you name a decision maker for you during your lifetime in the event that you are unable to make a decision for yourself for Health Care and Property. Your Estate Plan also includes how you would like to gift your personal effects. These are usually not valuable on the open market, but are more sentimental in nature. You would look at your Will and Trust to identify how they are distributed and to identify whether you can create a “Dear Family…” letter to distribute your most important personal items.
Now, we can consider the Legacy Planning. Legacy Planning is a way of sharing your values, blessing, life lessons, hopes and dreams for the future, as well as love and forgiveness with your family, friends and community. The focus shifts from protecting what you’ve earned to what you’ve learned. Strohschein Law Group offers an Ethical Will to combine your thoughts and ideas from a detailed written set of instructions to one or more recordings created for your loved ones. We also provide a Legacy Notebook to help you plan ahead and coordinate your estate plan documents, identify your preferences for your loved ones, and helps you keep track of the funding and financial issues that are so important to making your plan work for you. The Ethical Will and Legacy Notebook are non-binding advisory documents. While, these are not a legal documents, it is strongly recommended to have them reviewed by an attorney so that the information contained does not contradict the legal directions in your estate plan.
Although it can take some effort to corral all of the information needed for these plans and notebooks, the time and effort to do it right is more than worth it. With proper planning, you will be confident that you’ve taken the best steps possible to protect what matters the most – your loved ones and your family’s financial security.
You are invited to join us this month to learn directly from Linda Strohschein how to get this process started. The workshops are scheduled 12:00-1:00 pm for April 23rd, and 30th and are FREE! Just RSVP by calling 630-377-3241 to reserve your seat. You may just be starting to entertain getting an estate plan put in place or maybe you have one and it needs to be updated. This is the perfect time to receive free consultation to get your matters in order!