Conventional Estate Planning (CEP) does not work. It is insufficient. It focuses on money, property, and stuff.
But most humans don’t just define themselves by their “stuff”. As humans, we define our lives by our values, families, the things we’ve accomplished, our contributions to the community, the stories we’ve accumulated, and our hopes and dreams for future generations.
Very little of that is communicated and recorded in Conventional Estate Planning. The CEP industry ends at the legal tools. Their overarching message is: get money, plan to retire and get a Will and POAs. Then they tell you, “You now have a plan.”
This is where Conventional Estate Planning fails all of us.
I don’t need to give you statistics to prove it because everyone reading this knows a story of a family that ended up on a completely different trajectory due to the events that occurred after the death of a loved one. Whether it’s your immediate or extended family, a friend’s family, or co-workers’ family – and I doubt I even have to go that far – we all know this to be true.
These are the families that thought, “that will never happen to us.” Yet it happens to all of us. If your family is made up of humans, it will happen to your family. If you follow the guidance of Conventional Estate Planning your family will find themselves in the same place, with the same questions all because you only focused on the money and the stuff in your Will and POAs.
The things that really matter to humans are nowhere to be found in a conventional Estate Plan. Your values, your stories, your hopes and wishes for your family don’t exist in a Will and POA.
What’s missing from Conventional Estate Planning?
- Substance. When it comes to planning, more is more. Everybody needs more planning and not just the financial aspects but much more of the human, social, practical, emotional and spiritual elements of Death and Incapacity Planning.
- Continuous commitment. You need to allocate time every year to plan, revise, add, communicate, and learn about your inevitable death and incapacity.
- Curiosity. Develop a healthy relationship with death, dying and incapacity rather than avoiding it. It is inevitable so why not embrace it?
What’s the Solution?
At Brown Lawyers, our dissatisfaction with the current state of Conventional Estate Planning has driven us to develop a better way. We’ve created a new service to help guide you through the creation of a meaningful plan that will actually be helpful for your loved ones during your possible incapacity and eventual death.
Our new service requires you to acknowledge death as part of our human experience. It will assist you in focusing on the emotional, spiritual, and practical aspects of your own incapacity and death.
Yes, you still need to have the legal tools in place, but by augmenting your Will and POAs with a robust Death and Incapacity Plan you will have the opportunity to communicate more than just where you want your stuff to go. You will have a plan with substance that communicates your life’s journey and values and your wishes for future generations.
We look forward to telling you more about our new service next month. Until then, enjoy time spent safely with your family and loved ones.