Non Financial Aspects of Estate Planning

2016-03-09 15.23.39A friend asked me to give this talk to his firm, but I prefer to write short articles. 😉

When families talk about estate planning the discussion can center around cash flow, assets and tax minimization. While those topics need to be sorted, dollar-centric living can lead to regret.

If you apply last week’s tips about family leadership, you might discover certain realities about financial wealth.

2016-03-16 13.56.23Namely…

The highest use of an asset lies in its capacity to enable better choices…

  • flexibility to allocate time towards shared experiences
  • the ability to control one’s schedule
  • the opportunity to tag along when other people are doing what they enjoy
  • health in the context of body, mind and spirit

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2016-03-13 21.51.50Cash flow without education, connection and meaning can be a negative. Examples are the challenges faced by lottery winners, professional athletes and young, highly paid professionals.

With cash flow, I would go further and point out that excess family cash flow will ultimately be consumed by the least responsible adults in a family system.

You might tell yourself that you are “doing it for the kids” but the money ends up being blown by someone’s aunt or uncle.

2016-03-11 20.04.44-1What to do?

  • In your lifetime, use money to acquire time.
  • Share time with people you wish to influence with your values. Be the brand.
  • Remember that it’s better to earn, and spend, our own way in life. It’s what you did.
  • Have a bias towards “assets used for shared experiences,” rather than cash flow.

Ask the question, How do I wish to be remembered?

Be that person, today.

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2016-03-10 08.52.21Shared experiences, both positive and negative, bridge generations across time.

As a child, I had four grandparents and three great-grandparents. Of my childhood elders, only one made the transition into my children’s consciousness. The elder that bridged across did so because my daughter and I were involved in her end of life care.

Love, not money, is what travels across time.

2016-02-24 16.51.20