My friends and colleagues associated with the Purposeful Planning Institute (an organization about which I have blogged in the past here and here) often have very interesting discussions at this LinkedIn group.
Recently the group was looking at a list of 10 "non-tax estate planning considerations." As an alternative to that list, lawyer Matthew Wesley posted a list I share with you now (with his permission).
- What is my clients’ deepest non-tax concern about passing on the wealth?
- Do I understand the strategic considerations of my client?
- Can I clearly and simply articulate my client's motivations and purposes?
- Do the estate documents I am drafting clearly reflect and explicitly address the deep concerns, strategic considerations, and motivations of my client?
- Has my client considered the impact of the inheritance on the lives of the beneficiaries and are the documents structured to address that impact?
- How do the documents enhance and support the use of financial capital in the development of the human, social and cultural resources of the family?
- How will the administration of the estate serve to enhance, or at the very least not damage, family cohesion?
- What has been done to bring the heirs into the planning process and allow them to have some say in the events that will deeply affect their lives? (As Margaret Wheatley famously said "Decisions that are about me that don't include me are not "for" me.")
- Are the stewards of the assets well suited to the task and how does the trust structure empower rather than enable the beneficiaries? If they heirs are to receive the assets directly have they been prepared emotionally, intellectually and practically to adapt to that event?
- Finally, as a practitioner, as I turn off the lights of my office and head home, can I do so with the sense that I have done what I could to make the world slightly better place for the people I serve.
Your thoughts on his list? What would you add? Subtract?
Thanks, Matthew for allowing me to post your fine, client-focused list.
Note: You may want to take a look at another active discussion on that same LinkedIn Group: What is the "essential purpose" of the trustee?