John A. Warnick, estate planning lawyer and founder of Purposeful Planning Institute, is a leader in new ways of conceptualizing the passing on of assets from one generation to the next. To learn more about his practice of the purposeful trust, you may listen to or read this recent interview of him conducted by Josh Patrick. This excerpt gives you a flavor of what Warnick creates for clients.
[I]n a purposeful trust, inside the actual trust document will be text boxes where the trust creator speaks to trustees, speaks to the beneficiaries in a non-legal voice. Now, these statements generally have no legal or binding effect. So for the lawyers that are listening to this call, maybe they're going, “Oh, my gosh, how can we put text boxes inside a trust?” Let me just say to those brothers and sisters in my legal fraternity that this text box technique – it’s new to the trust and estate arena but it’s something that we're seeing increasingly inside of complex documents in the business planning arena but it’s extremely powerful when someone picks up a trust document and instead of being overwhelmed by the complexity and sterility of a document that “if you ripped up the first and last pages” as one of my clients said, “what was left could be anyone’s and that my family would never know that that was my trust.” The purposeful trust is the antithesis of that Josh. It is one where you come to those text boxes. You don’t just read them but you hear, in almost a literal way, the voice of the trust creator speaking to you in a positive way, sharing encouragement, sharing affirmations of love and positivity, and sharing wisdom to help guide you in your path as a beneficiary or to help give meaning and purpose to the work of the trustee.