The Value of Family Stories in Your Estate Plan

October 27, 2012

Most families think of “wealth” as a dollar amount or financial standing.  Yet, the true “wealth” that all of us has is our values, insights, stories and experiences – this is what I call Whole Family Wealth.   Making sure that this “intangible” wealth is part of your estate plan is critical.  Yet, very, very few families take the step to include this true “wealth” in their plan – and, sadly, very, very few attorneys ever think about it.

But it’s beyond important, which is why we include a Priceless Conversation in our planning with each of our client families.  It’s recorded conversation on any number of topics, meant to capture a little bit of who they are and what’s important to them.  I’m very passionate about each client family doing a Priceless Conversation.  And yes, sometimes maybe even a little pushy.  But with good reason – because I’ve made the mistake of missing one and you can read about it in this previous post.  That was the hardest post I’ve written, from an emotional standpoint.

And I was beyond touched to recently read this post by one of my wonderful client families.  I’m not going to reproduce any of it here because it is well worth your time to read it yourself.  Let’s just say that they truly realize the gift they are giving their children through capturing their Whole Family Wealth through Priceless Conversations and, moreso, through their blog.  And don’t forget to read the comments at the bottom of post.  They are powerful and share personal stories of how important this “intangible” wealth is.

Ready to have an estate plan for your Whole Family Wealth not just financial assets?  Call us at 616-827-7596 to schedule a Peace of Mind Planning Session today!

Michael Lichterman is an estate planning and charitable planning attorney who helps families and business owners create a lasting legacy by planning for their Whole Family Wealth™.  This goes beyond merely planning for “stuff” – it’s about who your are and what’s important to you.  He focuses on estate, charitable, and asset protection planning for all generations (“young” and “experienced”), the “sandwich generation” (caring for parents and children), doctors/physicians, nurses, lawyers, dentists, professionals with minor children, family owned businesses, and pet planning.  He enjoys creating life long relationships with his clients centered on their family’s values, insights, stories and experiences.

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What does this mean for you, your family, and your business? It means a break from the traditional, dry, transactional estate planning or business planning experience. It means regular communication designed to ensure your estate plan works when you need it most. And that your business has the foundation it needs to grow successfully. And finally, it means your own Personal Family Advisor - someone ensuring that you make the best legal decisions for your family and your business. Your lawyer for life!

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