Estate Planning is Much More than Financial Assets
For the most part, estate planning is about how we wish to see your assets divided among your beneficiaries. And by having a legally valid estate & inheritance plan in place, you can effectively minimize time, costs, and the administrative headaches of probate. In essence, the purpose of estate planning has always been to optimize your estate and ease the process for the surviving family.
But there is so much more to estate & inheritance planning. People consider the hard assets (e.g., money and assets) they’ll leave behind but often fail to consider the opportunity to impart moral and sentimental value to loved ones left behind.
Anyone who has received a sentimental item from a loved one who has since passed on a loved one has experienced that the bequeath includes much more than the value assigned to the material possessions inherited.
And many of us have witnessed families at odds over who gets the favorite golf club, the old piano, or another such family “heirloom”–often just as important to family members as a hard financial asset. Whether it’s grandma’s wedding dress or Dad’s coffee mug, these items may be of little tangible value, but they embody our favorite childhood memories.
The OneDigitalTrust estate & inheritance planning platform is designed to specifically accommodate the distribution of such items of high emotional value but low financial value in a manner that sidesteps family strife. This makes it so much easier for an Executor to distribute these items guided by wishes which have been declared in writing.
Take some time and think about the cornerstones of your family life. Think about your legacy, and be rest assured that you have personal items which have the capacity to provide a lifetime of emotional value to a beloved family member or friend.
Value & Life Learnings are Priceless
A lifetime’s worth of lessons learned, in childhood, young adulthood, and as an aging family elder are impossible to encapsulate into an estate planning platform that merely produces legal documents. Our cultural heritage, family values, what inspires us, and our successes and failures, are all so intertwined in how we’ve come to know ourselves. Family members and mentors impact us in ways both known and unknown.
The highs and lows of our life stories comprise a core part of our legacy. They carry through everything you’ve instilled in those we leave behind. But it’s so easy to leave part of the story untold. We can make these life lessons part of what we bequeath to our descendants. Inevitably, there is much we didn’t say, couldn’t say, or forgot to say. We can tell our story, share our insights, and deepen our family’s understanding of all that is our legacy.
And on the flip side of the experiential legacy are items of sentimental value. Prior planning and written declaration of who is to inherit diaries, photographs or videos, military medals, and other memorabilia of significance to family members will be a kindness that can avert hurt feelings and misunderstandings down the road.
Although some items may seem inconsequential to others, these tangible links have weight and symbolism; they’re an important piece of you that your family will want to hold on to. Whether it’s Grandad’s purple heart or Mom’s military uniform, these items can help those you care about feel comforted and connected long after you’re gone.
So while traditional estate planning often overlooks emotional attachment to objects or the significance of shared family values and life events — the OneDigitalTrust platform offers unique tools and assistance to make such actions official.
Your Family Would Love to Learn More About You
History usually repeats itself. And, in many ways, we’re a product of those who came before. Within each of us is a desire to strive for better, to ask more of ourselves and deliver on it. Most people spend their lives either making up for their families’ shortcomings or trying to do right by their legacy.
Your family wants to hear, in your own words, what really matters to you in life. What were your parents like when you were young? How did you struggle? What controversial decisions did you make but still stand by? And out of everything you know now, what do you especially wish you knew back then?
An All-Digital Estate Planning Platform Makes this Easier
While wealth acquired through wise investments or a rewarding career may have made us financially stable, we are worth more than appears on the balance sheet. In fact, to the people that count, your life story is the most valuable part of your estate plan. Unfortunately, most of us live our lives without knowing what drove our parents and grandparents and how they became the people we knew and loved. And there are a few effective estate & inheritance planning solutions to guide us in these sensitive and delicate matters.
Fortunately, One Digital Trust offers a service to create a digital archive of your life history. On their estate planning platform, you can include precious sentimental items, the tangible and the intangible. Create a comprehensive estate plan that takes care of everything you cherish. You can read our blog on “How to Bequeath Sentimental Items” for more information.
Collecting and cataloging information on your entire portfolio can be time- and labor-intensive. To have your comprehensive record of personal information, assets, and legacy stored with bank-grade legal and digital security means your estate is easily accessible for decades.
So while money is always helpful for your beneficiaries, preserving your memories and words of wisdom have an extraordinary capacity to soothe and encourage all those who knew you and guide the many generations yet to come.