How Personal Values Influence Estate Planning

Values in estate planning
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A common concern among many Las Cruces parents and grandparents is how to ensure their hard-earned wealth is used responsibly by their heirs. More than just money, they often wish to pass down the values and principles they’ve adhered to in their lives, which can be preserved through the use of trusts as noted in the yahoo finance article, In Estate Planning, Your Values Can Play a Key Role.

Ensuring Your Heirs Value Your Estate the Way You Do 

When you work hard and live thriftily to accumulate wealth, it’s only natural to want some say in how it’s spent after you’re gone.  You may be wondering, How can I be sure that my heirs will use  good judgment with the wealth I pass on to them? If you are concerned about this or find it crucial to maintain a level of control, a trust can serve as an effective estate planning tool.

At its most basic level, a trust is a legal entity with at least three parties involved: the trust-maker or grantor, the trustee (trust manager), and the trust beneficiary. Oftentimes, all three parties are represented by one person or a married couple. The trustee manages the estate according to the terms or instructions you outlined in the trust. This allows for a continuation of your values based on how the assets are managed. Read more about the role of the trustee in our article, What’s Involved with Being a Trustee?

Typically, the trustee manages and invests the trust’s assets and makes distributions to the beneficiaries, your heirs, to support their health, education, maintenance, and support. But the real beauty of a trust lies in its flexibility. A trusted Las Cruces estate planning attorney can help you include specific instructions to guide which types of distributions should be made to the trust beneficiaries and for what purposes.

For example, based on your values, you could stipulate that the trust assets be used for:

  • Higher education or vocational certification to promote lifelong learning.
  • Marriage, acknowledging the importance of family and commitment.
  • Gainful employment or productive endeavors, encouraging hard work and responsibility.
  • Entrepreneurship or leadership of a family business, fostering innovation and leadership.
  • National or international travel, broadening horizons and perspectives.
  • Housing, ensuring a stable living situation.
  • Charitable giving, instilling the principle of helping others.
  • Dedicated sabbatical or reflective time, emphasizing the need for rest and introspection.

Moreover, you could include preamble language in the trust to convey your broader beliefs, morals, or values that you find crucial to uphold in your family. This could serve as a guiding light for your heirs, shaping their decisions and behaviors even in your absence.

Estate planning is not just about transferring wealth. It’s a potent tool for imparting your values and shaping your family’s future. By carefully designing your trust, you can create a legacy that will influence generations to come.

If you’re considering how your values can influence your estate plan, don’t hesitate to reach out. My team at E-Law and I are here to help you navigate this journey, ensuring that your legacy is not just about the money but also reflects the principles and values you hold dear.

Estate planning can be complex, and it’s not something you want to do alone. Let’s work together to create a plan that not only secures your family’s financial future but also leaves a lasting legacy of your values. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Request a consultation with E-Law today.