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What Is “Values-Based” Estate Planning?

Estate planning can be a difficult process to start. It sometimes forces families to ask (and answer) difficult questions—ones that evoke anxiety for everyone involved. And there is no shortage of news stories reminding you that if you do not make a plan, you may not like what outcome state law dictates for your estate.

While it is true that estate planning is a crucial and very necessary aspect of making arrangements for your finances in the future, it does not necessarily have to be a painful process. Being able to base your estate planning on your personal values can merge your personal values and finances in a way that makes the process less daunting and more sensible.

Trust and Estate Planning in Tennessee

Traditional estate planning is typically based on income, taxes, and how you would like your property to be distributed after your death. Many people come up with very specific provisions for their will in order to avoid probate, or the process of having to determine if a will is valid or not. Some also use the process to designate power of lawyer in case a time comes when they cannot make decisions on financial matters and make arrangements for their health care. Overall, a will can really be what any individual person wants it to be; you can even make arrangements for your pets in a will.

Values-Based Planning

While most estate planning begins with very financial-based balance sheets, values-based estate planning is based more on gauging your experiences and attitudes to form a basis for your future estate planning. One of the key principles involved is “legacy of living,” which simply relates to the values and property you would like to pass on. In this sense, these wills take on a very personal, individualized aspect of reflecting the individual, their history, and their desires for the future.

For example, instead of simply looking at how much you would like to leave of your children or heirs, you would go through a more thorough process of analyzing what gifts your children or heirs are currently receiving, what your expectations are, what their lifestyles are like, etc. This form of planning also looks at other people in your life and your perspective on their value, such as mentors, business associates, and other people who may have helped you.

Estate Planning to Meet the Diverse Needs of Our Clients

No matter the size of an estate, all adults should protect themselves and the interests of their loved ones by developing some type of estate plan. If you have questions about estate planning or need to have estate planning documents drafted, contact an experienced Nashville estate planning lawyer at Calhoun Law, PLC to ensure that your unique estate planning needs are met. Call now at 615-250-8000 for a free consultation or contact us by e-mail to speak directly with our lawyers.

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