Each of our families is unique. Each family has its own personality, as
well as its own members who have various accomplishments and challenges.
Our family members don’t suddenly lose their uniqueness just because
we die. The same family members we had when we were alive are still the
same family members we leave behind when we die. So when you are putting
together an estate plan to take care of your family members, do you want
an estate plan that takes into account your family’s unique needs
or do you want an estate plan that makes your family fit into a form set
up for the “average” family’s needs?
Creating an estate plan that takes into account your family’s special
characteristics gives you a chance to put a plan in place that can address
the different needs of each member of your family. Does one of your children
or grandchildren have special needs? Does one of your children or grandchildren
work in the family business but the others do not? Does one of your children
have questionable judgment regarding spending money?
It is sometimes amazing that siblings raised in the same family can be
so different. If you are trying to fit your very individual children into
a “form” estate planning document, it can be difficult to
address and plan for these differences. However, if you take the time
to work with an estate planning professional to craft a plan that fits
you and your family rather than making you and your family fit into the
“form”, you can successfully take these differences in personalities
and lifestyle choices into account.
Almost everyone has protecting their family as a goal for their estate
planning. So, the difference between a “form” estate plan
and a custom crafted estate plan isn’t that the person with the
custom crafted plan cares more about their family than the person with
the form plan. The difference is that the person with the custom crafted
plan has the opportunity to protect their family in the way that accounts
for each member’s own individual personalities and challenges. In
other words, a custom crafted plan is an opportunity to leave your family
a well thought out and personalized legacy rather than just an inheritance.