Why We Don’t Like to Call Our Plans Estate Plans
By age 30, most people have some understanding of what an estate plan is. “Yeah, it’s wills and stuff for rich people,” would be a common answer we’d get when asking what they thought estate planning meant. While the answer isn’t untrue, it is insufficient. Estate planning isn't just for the rich.
Estate Planning is a Bad DescriptionEstate planning evokes thoughts of rich people, rich people who want to avoid taxes, transfer their assets to their grandchildren, and protect themselves against lawsuits. Therefore, unfortunately, most people wrongly think that estate planning does not apply to them. At our firm, we like to call estate planning "people planning," or "life planning." Granted, we know that estate planning is in our firm name - it's just that Zapf People Planners didn't sound exactly right. When we've thought of all the things that "people/life planning" can accomplish, it just made sense to ditch the "estate planning" description.
Goals that "Life Planning" can AccomplishHere is a list of goals that life planning can accomplish. You can: 1. Ensure that your children are taken care of by the people you want, in the way you want, should anything happen to you; 2. Protect your children against unwanted guardians; 3. Prevent foster care and/or protective custody; 4. Provide for your children after you are gone; 5. Ensure your family can receive the benefits of your life's work and perhaps even continue in your business; 6. Plan for your own incapacity while maintaining control; 7. Avoid probate and keep your family out of court; 8. Qualify for Medi-Cal or MediCaid; 9. Qualify for VA benefits; 10. Avoid conflict within your family; 11. Safeguard against lawsuits (for people at a high risk of litigation); 12. Protect your surviving spouse and children from a loss of assets due to future creditors; and 13. Reduce taxes on your estate.
Deeper Benefits of "People Planning"Do you see any of those reasons above that resonate with you? Estate planning, that is, people planning, is for everyone. But there are even more reasons to set up your life plan. Here are a handful of deeper benefits you receive by using our services: 1. Your "life plan" is a passageway to adulthood. It's really a right of passage; 2. By taking care of your loved ones spiritually, emotionally, and financially, you just feel like a better parent, business owner, and citizen; 3. People planning gives you permission to live fully since you are facing your own mortality; and 4. You can pass along more than just tangible assets to your children, but intangible ones as well. How about a voice recording expressing your love of your newborn child? A guide for how your children can live their lives to the fullest? A list of the morals and lessons learned in life? In the end, we want you to be happy, healthy, organized, and protected. If we can help you in any way, well, that's why we plan for people not estates.