EXPLORING THE INTANGIBLE SIDE OF ESTATE PLANNING
An estate plan can be a critical part of creating a future for people in California and across the United States. Not only does estate planning help to distribute assets clearly through the use of wills, trusts, insurance and other instruments, it also helps to ease the period after death for heirs and calm the emotional pain following the loss of a loved one. A complex and unplanned estate can pile stress on to an already painful situation, while a well-planned estate allows for the easiest transfer possible of real and personal property. Because it is an in-depth process that includes important decisions about the future, estate planning can provoke nostalgia and an impetus to transfer thoughts, memories, connections and family stories to a new generation.
Estate planning can inspire new thinking about one's life and the people and values that one views as most important. These intangible aspects of a person's life include intellectual assets like business connections or invention ideas but can also be more emotional in nature. People may feel a renewed drive to share memories and family legacies with their children. Indeed, reviewing history can become a form of tangible personal property as people write down their memoirs, create letters to be passed down on death or record a series of reminiscences.
Sharing life stories can also help build and repair relationships, and the psychological benefits of reminiscing and learning about family history are apparent for both elders and children. These kinds of shared memories promote self-esteem and empathy and help to reduce the risk of depression. They highlight the fact that estate planning can be an emotional as well as a financial process.
An estate planning lawyer can be a critical partner in developing the instruments that will enable clients to pass on their real and personal property to the next generation. Having a secure estate plan can help people to develop the confidence and stability to explore the emotional side of their assets and support strong family relationships.