One of the many topics followed by this blog concerns recent developments in the area of estate planning. There are some invaluable lessons, however, that a person can learn from Founding Father, George Washington. A review of Washington’s will provides a shining example of how to address issues of communication, clarity, and customization when estate planning.
George Washington’s Estate Plans
As part of his will and last testament, which became effective in 1799, George Washington articulated his vision for the future. First, Washington bequeathed the use of his estate to his wife and first lady, Martha Washington. Additionally, George Washington used his will to forgive the debts of many of his family members. Furthermore, Washington established a school for orphans and passed on stock.
While Washington passed away over 200 years ago, the goals achieved by his will and last testament are relevant today. Clocking in at over 5,500 words, the will is also remarkably precise.
While your estate planning might not require the same degree of care that George Washington’s plans did, there are still some valuable lessons that can be learned from his estate plan documents. The terms of Washington’s last will and testament will hopefully be a guide for individuals seeking clarity and personalization in their own estate planning.
Customizing Estate Plans
Estate planning documents should be customized to reflect unique considerations involved with your assets. Fortunately, an experienced estate planning lawyer can review the details of your situation and make sure that you address any potential obstacles that could arise in your estate.
Personal statements can be used to explain the existence of formal provisions in a person’s will. Some people also rely on these statements to convey their hopes and wishes for loved ones. If you plan on making an unequal distribution or are part of a nontraditional family, the use of a personal statement is worth consideration.
Directly Communicate Your Goals
Many people think that estate planning involves writing the best documents possible. In reality, it is just as important to express your estate planning goals to your loved ones. If you are married, you should make sure to inform your spouse about the nuances involved with your estate plan. It is just as important to communicate details about your estate plan to any children you might have.
If you discover that your estate planning documents do not entirely reflect your wishes and personal touch, you might decide to include a personal statement to achieve this goal, as well. These separate documents can help add a much greater degree of personalization for your surviving loved ones. These statements also need not meet public registration requirements in the way that wills do, which means that the document will be kept in confidence by your survivors.
Speak with an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer
Estate planning is complex, but an experienced estate planning attorney can help you navigate this process. Contact an experienced estate planning Jim A Lyon today to schedule a free consultation.