As a Grand Rapids, Mi estate planning lawyer who focuses on helping you plan for your Whole Family Wealth™, I consider it my calling to determine what my clients truly care about and then, and only then, move forward with helping them plan to make sure their wishes are followed if something happened to them.

The tragedy of several West Michigan homes burning down (or partially down) over the past month has provided a prime example of what this Whole Family Wealth™ is.  I think most would agree that having your home burn down is a horrible tragedy, only made better if nobody is injured.  So what does a home burning down without any human injury have to do with estate planning?

Ask yourself this question: if your home was on fire, would you reach for the money you may have hidden in a drawer  or would you try to save the photo album that has the only pictures of your children as babies?  If you answered the way I expect you did, ask yourself if “traditional” estate planning is right for you or if you need something more.  Traditional estate planning focuses on money and assets . . . who you are and what is important to you is not a consideration.

Give it some serious thought because your answer (and more importantly your action or inaction) is what will shape your legacy.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking a “legacy” is something you have to wait until the end of your life to create. Call us at 616-827-7596 to schedule a Peace of Mind Planning Session to discover how you can share your values, insights, stories and experiences . . . not just your “stuff.”  Mention this blog post and we’ll waive the planning session fee (a $750 value!).

Michael Lichterman is an estate 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 finances – it’s about who your are and what’s important to you.  He focuses on estate and asset protection planning for  the “experienced” generation, the “sandwich generation” (caring for parents and children), doctors/physicians, nurses, lawyers, dentists, professionals with minor children, family owned businesses and pet planning.  He takes the “counselor” part of attorney and counselor at law very seriously, and enjoys creating life long relationships with his clients – many of which have become great friends.