By Aimee D. Griffin | The Washington Informer | Word In Black
(WIB) – Typically, my approach to estate planning is focusing on the vision of legacy building. It is the opportunity to create a multigenerational plan for continued greatness. I work with individuals and families to project what is the desire for the generations to come whether they have biological children or not. Together we build a vision of how the resources that are held today can be invested to shape the future. We create the platform to support the growth of dreams and opportunities for those who come in the future.
Yet, it is also a challenge to plan for the unthinkable. We build into the plan the “just in case” scenario that forces us to manage the considerations that we don’t welcome. We strategically think through what Plan B or C look would like.
It is very difficult to think about planning for minor children if as parents we are unable to take care of them. It is difficult to think about providing for family members with special needs if we are unable to provide for them. It is difficult to plan for distribution of our assets if our children are unable to receive the distributions.
But what is more difficult is when unthinkable things happen and there is no plan.
When there is a time for transition and loss, grief is allowed to be experienced naturally without the external pressures and insecurities of financial woes or confusion regarding desires and expectations.
In my role as an estate planning and administration attorney, I have the front-row perspective of what happens when there is planning for legacy building and there are multiple generations that can access resources for greatness. Great-grandchildren will be able to see how the fruits of their ancestors are enabling them to pursue their passion and purpose. The enterprise that the family has established enables them to grow resources collectively that strengthen their bond while also providing individualized support for unique opportunities. When there is a time for transition and loss, grief is allowed to be experienced naturally without the external pressures and insecurities of financial woes or confusion regarding desires and expectations. The loved ones can gather to honor the one who has passed while supporting one another.
However, when there is no plan and the unthinkable happens, there is great distress. It is often collective chaos. Grief and greed have a way of appearing when there is confusion. When there is, what some would categorize, an untimely death, we are even more emotionally distraught. The possibility of catastrophic impact is great. We often experience great family discord and distress. In my experience, family members often end up in disagreements that many times end up in court.
Let’s move beyond the possibility of distress and build a plan to strengthen and build the foundation for our families.
In distress, words are said that cannot be unsaid. Actions are taken that cannot be undone. Relationships can unfortunately be irreparably harmed. We are relational people that are often driven by emotion and when we are hurting, we often hurt others. The impact can be permanent over what we realize, in reflection, was not that important.
Let’s do what we need to do to shape, support and strengthen our families and loved ones. Let’s move beyond the possibility of distress and build a plan to strengthen and build the foundation for our families.
We would be honored to walk you through at the Life & Legacy Counselors. We know this is not easy but we are glad to help carry the load.