When meeting people for the first time, I’m regularly asked “what do you do?” I help families create a lasting legacy through Whole Family Wealth™ Planning. Of course that prompts the question, “what is Whole Family Wealth™?” I thought I would share the answer here so everyone can benefit.
Whole Family Wealth™ is about planning to pass on more than just what you have – it’s about who you are and what is important to you. Your values, insights, stories and experiences. Because it is those values, insights, stories and experiences that are going to matter most to your children/grandchildren when you are no longer around.
For instance, the Allianz American Legacies Study found that non-financial items that parents leave behind, like ethics, morals, faith and religion, are ten times more important to people than the financial aspects of inheritance. And that makes sense. If you think about it, by having your values, insights, stories and experiences shared with them, your family will be able to build their own financial wealth. Sadly, it doesn’t work in reverse. Once you are gone, so are any values, insights, stories and experiences you haven’t passed on. Experience has shown me that even though we think we do a great job of sharing those “intangible assets,” in fact we have so much more that we could have shared that would have added a lot to the Whole Family Wealth™ of our loved ones.
So, how do we plan for your Whole Family Wealth™? We do several things:
- First, we take a significant amount of time to really learn about who you are as a person – your goals, wishes, hopes, and dreams for yourself and for your loved ones. We want to know who you are as a person and what is important to you. One of our clients commented that “Mike was very easy to talk to and I was able to convey my thoughts and feeling about my plan. He listened to me very patiently and gave me his full attention.”
- Second, we work with you to determine how we can use planning as a way to pass on these goals, wishes, hopes and dreams. The idea being that your plan is uniquely representative of who you are and what is important to you.
- Third, we include ongoing reviews of your planning at least every 3 years in all of our planning levels to make sure your plan is still in line with your legacy goals.
- Fourth, we include a Priceless Conversation in all our planning levels. This is a conversation we have with you on various subjects that enables you to share your legacy from your heart, not your head. We record the conversation to a CD which is then placed in a presentation box with a summary of the conversation and the questions – this becomes the first part of your “legacy library.” There are numerous topics about which we can have a Priceless Conversation.
- Finally, we are constantly seeking out new ways to help you convey more of your Whole Family Wealth™ based on our own efforts and your feedback
Have questions? Curious to know more? Wonder how your specific family situation can benefit from Whole Family Wealth™ Planning? Give us a call or send us an email. And if you reference this blog post your Peace of Mind Planning Session will be FREE ($750 value).
Michael Lichterman is an attorney specializing in estate planning and helping provide peace of mind to families and businesses throughout Grand Rapids and West Michigan. He specializes in Whole Family Wealth™ planning for professionals with minor children, doctors/physicians, nurses, lawyers, and the “sandwich generation” (caring for parents and children) – and does so from a Christian perspective. 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.