Estate Planning to Reflect Your Values


Estate planning not only distributes your property and eases the burden of your passing on your loved ones, but it can also pass along your value system to your beneficiaries as well.  How?  Not only can you leave a legacy of your actions, since those certainly speak louder than words, but you can incorporate those values in your estate plan itself.

There are estate planning tools that can be used to pass on your values.  Many of these methods involve creating a trust, which allows you more flexibility and planning options than simply drafting a will.  Not only does a trust allow property to avoid probate, but it allows you to set conditions on how, when and why the proceeds of the trust are distributed to the beneficiaries named in the trust documents.  This can be particularly useful when you are dealing with young adults, who may not have the experience or maturity to handle large sums of money.

Pass Along Your Wishes to Your Beneficiaries

Some examples of trusts that can pass along your wishes to your beneficiaries:

  • If your dream is to have your child own their own business, a portion of a trust could be earmarked specifically for that purpose.
  • If you would like your grandchild to graduate from college, a portion of a trust may be set aside for college expenses, with the remainder to be paid upon graduation.
  • If you would like to have a younger family member become a homeowner, you may earmark funds for a down payment.

The estate planning method in which you distribute your property can become your legacy and it does not need to be simply about property distribution and who gets what.  With the help of an estate planning attorney, you can leave a more meaningful legacy than money; you can leave your values to be passed down to future generations.

More Questions?

If you have more questions about setting up a Trust to reflect your values contact our office or consider attending one of our upcoming estate planning workshops.

Author Bio

Catherine Hammond is the CEO and founder of Hammond Law Group, a Colorado-based estate planning law firm she founded in 2005. With a strong focus on protecting families from the legal consequences of disability and death, she creates comprehensive estate plans that minimize taxes, costs, and government interference.

A native of Denver, Catherine completed her undergraduate studies at Coe College in Iowa, and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver College of Law in 1993, concentrating on estate planning, tax, and mediation. Catherine is a member of various professional organizations, including WealthCounsel, ElderCounsel, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Colorado Springs Estate Planning Council, and the Purposeful Planning Institute. Beyond her legal expertise, Catherine provides transformational coaching to support clients and their families through life transitions.

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