“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw.
Perhaps more truer words have never been spoken when it comes to intrafamily discussion surrounding financial and estate planning. In fact, a lack of communication is regarded by most as the single biggest challenge to leaving a lasting legacy. Your legacy is much more than just your “stuff,” of course. In large part, your legacy is the fingerprint you leave behind for future generations: your values, your time-honored traditions, as well as words of wisdom, perhaps, that you have yet to say in person, just to name a few. Part of your legacy does, however, involve the way in which you set your loved ones up for success after you are gone.
In order to leave a lasting legacy, you have to start with adequate communication. Adequate communication, for most, begins with the completion of your estate planning documents: Powers of Attorney, Wills and, perhaps, Trusts. If you don’t take the time to communicate your wishes with regard to your “stuff,” the likelihood of your fingerprint surviving you after death is slim. In this blog series, we will explore several of the key communication devices in estate and legacy planning, as well as how to navigate the pitfalls that exist in each.